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Southern Thailand Violence Continues as Prime Minister Visits


Violence in Thailand's southern provinces continued Friday, as Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra visited the troubled region.

After the murder of a police officer early Friday, two bombs exploded: the first in the district of Sungai Padi just after Mr. Thaksin left the area, and a second at a food shop in Narathiwat.

Mr. Thaksin visited the relatives of suspected separatist leaders Friday, promising a fair trial for militants who turn themselves in.

On Thursday, bomb blasts at a restaurant and a karaoke parlor in Narathiwat province injured at least eight people, just hours after Mr. Thaksin arrived in the region.

Separatist fighting in the Muslim southern provinces bordering Malaysia has killed about 1,000 people since the beginning of 2004. Thailand is mainly Buddhist.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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