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Bomb Blasts Hit Thai Province During Prime Minister's Visit

Police in southern Thailand say two bomb blasts have injured eight people during the prime minister's visit to the restive region. Police said the bombs exploded Thursday night in a restaurant and a karaoke parlor in Narathiwat province.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra flew to the Muslim majority region earlier Thursday, to spend the night and visit the sites of several recent deadly attacks.

Thailand's two-year-long Islamic insurgency continues to simmer, despite military crackdowns that have been criticized by some in neighboring Malaysia.

Mr. Thaksin recently appointed the army's first-ever Muslim commander to lead troops in the region. General Sonthi Boonyaratkasin has told soldiers to adjust their strategies following this week's deadly militant ambush on an army post.

Fighting in the southern provinces has killed some 1,000 people since January 2004.