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Bombings Kill 8 in Thai South

Thai fire fighters walk near a wreckage of a car while others trying to put off fire at a building after the car bomb blasted in Yala, southern Thailand, March 31, 2012.

Officials in Thailand say eight people have died and at least 70 people were wounded in three bomb blasts just minutes apart in the country's insurgency-plagued south.

The governor of Yala says the bombs went off Saturday around lunchtime in Yala city's business area.

Authorities say the bombs, hidden in two motorcycles and a car, also set several nearby buildings on fire.

A separate blast in nearby Songkhla province claimed at least three lives and injured more than 200 people. Officials are blaming the explosion at a high-rise hotel in the city of Hat Yai on a gas leak.

Bombings, like those Saturday in Yala, are a common tactic of Islamic separatists who have been waging an insurgency in the Muslim-dominated provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani since early 2004. The conflict has taken more than 5,000 lives.

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