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Southern Thailand Violence Continues as PM Ends Visit


Violence in Thailand's southern provinces continued Saturday as Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra wrapped up his visit to the troubled region.

Police say a Buddhist couple were shot dead Saturday in Pattani province where they sold vegetables.

Also Saturday, a village defense volunteer was killed by gunmen in Narathiwat province, one day after an officer was shot dead in Yala province.

On Friday, two bombs exploded in separate incidents in Narathiwat and the district of Sungai Padi after Mr. Thaksin had just left the area.

Thursday, bomb blasts in Narathiwat province injured at least eight people just hours after Mr. Thaksin arrived in the region.

During his visit, the prime minister visited the relatives of suspected separatist leaders and also visited the sites of several recent deadly attacks.

Separatist fighting in the Muslim southern provinces has killed about 1,000 people since 2004.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.