The army commander in southern Thailand has declared martial law in two districts, Chana and Thepha, of Songkhla province.

Lieutenant General Kwanchart Klaharn announced the move Thursday, saying militants have been using the area to store weapons.

The announcement comes four months after authorities declared a special state of emergency in nearby Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani provinces. Parts of the provinces had already been under martial law for years.

The state of emergency is similar to martial law, but under the direct supervision of the government rather than the military.

Insurgents staged several attacks in Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani on Wednesday night.

Officials say three people were killed in the incidents, one while apparently setting an explosive device.

Almost 1,000 people have died as a result of violence in the region since last year.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.