Eight people are dead following attacks on security patrols in southern Thailand, where Muslim separatists are conducting a low-level insurgency.

In the first attack, late Thursday, rebels detonated a roadside bomb and then opened fire on a military vehicle in Narathiwat province, killing five people.  Several weapons were seized in the attack, after which a village headman was reported among the dead.

Three more soldiers were killed Friday by a roadside bomb in Yala province that destroyed their pickup truck.

More than 4,000 people have died in about six years of fighting in southern Thailand, the only Muslim-majority region in the mainly Buddhist nation. Efforts to contain the insurgency have been made more difficult by a recent crisis in the capital, where opposition protests were crushed in May leaving almost 90 people dead.

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