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Insurgents Attack Islamic School, Kill Three Students in S. Thailand


Thai police say suspected insurgents have attacked an Islamic boarding school in the country's south, killing at least three students.

Police say the attackers hurled explosives at the school in Songkhla province late Saturday, then opened fire in the building.

Seven students were wounded in the attack.

After the shooting, hundreds of angry villagers surrounded the school, blocking police access to the scene in Sabayoi district.

Local police officials say the villagers blame government forces for the attack. But they say Islamist militants likely killed the students to generate support among the local Muslim community for their fight against government authorities.

Hours after the school shooting, three Buddhists were shot dead in the same district.

Attacks targeting civilians have become common occurrences in Thailand's southern provinces over the past three years, killing at least two thousand people.

Authorities blame the violence on Islamist separatists, organized criminals and corrupt local officials.

The region was an independent sultanate until Buddhist-dominated Thailand annexed it a century ago.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.