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June 29, 2013

Bomb Kills 8, Wounds 4 in Southern Thailand

by VOA News

Military officials in southern Thailand say eight soldiers have been killed in a roadside bombing.

Authorities say two soldiers and two civilians were wounded in the blast Saturday morning in the Muslim-majority Yala province.

A military spokesman said the soldiers were returning home in a truck after finishing a patrol when a bomb destroyed the vehicle, killing the eight soldiers instantly.

No group has taken responsibility, but rebel groups have carried out many similar attacks in the region.

The insurgents are a shadowy group believed to want more autonomy for the south, but have no united, public face.

Thailand is majority Buddhist, but its three southern border provinces with Malaysia - Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala - are 80 percent ethnic Malay Muslim.

More than 100 years ago they formed an independent Malay sultanate, until Thailand seized the territory.

A simmering resentment against Thai Buddhist rule exploded in 2004 in fighting that has left more than 5,000 people dead, most of them civilians.