Twin Bombs Kill 2, Wound 35 In Thai Muslim South
Tuesday, 06 October 2009

Two bomb attacks killed two people and injured at least 35 in a busy border town in Thailand's restive Muslim south on Tuesday, police said.

Suspected insurgents on a motorcycle fired bullets and threw a home-made bomb at a group of people in a packed restaurant, killing a civilian and a policeman and wounding 12.

Less than two hours later, a bomb hidden in a car exploded outside a hotel, injuring 23 people, a police official told Reuters by telephone. Both attacks took place in Sungai Kolok, a thriving town bordering Malaysia.

Famous for racy nightlife and popular with Malaysian tourists, Sungai Kolok has been the target of repeated bombings by suspected separatists over the past five years, hurting local trade and tourism.

The attacks followed a motorcycle bombing late on Monday that injured 17 people attending a Buddhist festival in Pattani, one of three mainly Muslim provinces where violence has claimed more than 3,600 lives since January 2004.

The rubber-rich region, just a few hours drive from some of country's biggest tourist hotspots, was an independent Malay Muslim sultanate before it was annexed by Thailand in 1909.

Despite flooding the region with tens of thousands of police, soldiers and security guards, the government has made little progress towards quelling the unrest for which no group has claimed responsibility.


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