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Ten die in Thailand shootings

SUSPECTED Muslim insurgents killed 10 civilians in a flurry of attacks in the insurgency-plagued southern Thailand, the army said yesterday, the fifth anniversary of a bloody assault by security forces against militants at a mosque.

In the deadliest incident, at least six gunmen in a pickup truck stormed into a house in Yala province late on Monday, opening fire on a Muslim family of five, army spokesman Colonel Parinya Chaidilok said. Four people, including a 16-year-old girl, were killed.

Parinya said two Muslim rubber plantation workers were later found dead in the compound of a nearby mosque. In another district of Yala province, suspected militants fatally shot a Buddhist rubber plantation worker yesterday.

Thai security officials blamed Islamic insurgents bent on stirring up communal tension between Buddhists and Muslims.

A Buddhist government official was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Pattani yesterday, Parinya said.

In separate incidents on Monday, gunmen shot dead a Muslim defense volunteer while he was watching a football match and another Muslim man was killed in a drive-by shooting.

On April 28, 2004, 32 insurgents were killed in an assault on the Krue Se mosque by Thai security forces.


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