11/04/2008, 00.00
THAILAND
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At least 60 injured by two bombs in Narathiwat

More violence in the Muslim majority southern provinces. Since 2004, more than 3,000 have been killed.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Two bombs have exploded in Narathiwat, a state in southern Thailand, injuring more than 60 people. The bombs struck a local government office and a tea room. At the moment, no one has claimed responsibility, but police suspicions are directed toward the separatist rebels in the state, which has a Muslim majority population. The first bomb exploded outside the place where a meeting of village leaders was taking place. A few moments later, the second bomb exploded 100 meters away, in a tea room near a crowded fruit and vegetable market.

Acts of terrorism are frequent in the southern provinces of Narathiwat, a Muslim majority area in the majority Buddhist country. Since 2004, guerrilla fighting has killed more than 3,000 people.

Just one week ago, Thai prime minister Somchai Wongsawat visited the Muslim communities in the south. He expressed his satisfaction with the progress made in those areas, especially the reduction of insurrections. For a number of years, fundamentalist Islamic groups have been fighting for the autonomy of the territory. The presence of criminal gangs, fighting over areas of influence, is not being excluded. In recent years, the army has taken radical action, claiming victims among civilians as well.

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