Thai officials say insurgents have shot dead two Buddhist policemen guarding a market in southern Thailand.

Police say gunmen shot the two officers at close range Saturday at a market crowded with villagers in Narathiwat province.

Narathiwat is one of three Muslim-majority provinces in southern Thailand where Islamic militants launched an insurgency three years ago. More than 2,000 people have been killed in the violence.

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