01/15/2008, 00.00
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Bomb wounds 27 people in Southern Thailand

The bomb strapped to a motorbike was exploded in the precinct of the crowded Yala market. Yesterday 8 soldiers were killed in an ambush on army troops, one of them beheaded. Since 2004, violence in the south has claimed over 2800 lives.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – At least 27 people were injured in an early morning bomb attack in Southern Thailand.  Islamic rebels fighting for the independence of southern provinces are believed to be behind the explosion.  Police sources report that the bomb was hidden on a motorbike which was parked in the precincts of the busy Yala market.

The attack comes one day after another deadly episode: in Narathiwat province, 8 soldiers were killed in an armed ambush.  On of them was beheaded.  The troops had been escorting home group of teachers, who are often a favourite rebel target.

Over 30 people, most of them civilians, have been beheaded in the 4 years of clashed,  The aim seems to be to terrorise the local Buddhist population in the area.

In the Southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, former Muslim sultanates, violence has increased over recent months and attacks are now a daily occurrence.  The army – with a presence of over 30 thousand troops – and the police are unable to control the situation and warn Buddhists to avoid certain areas at risk.  Islamists and rights groups accuse the Security forces of summary executions and the use of violence against the Muslim population.  Since the beginning of 2004, the death toll has already exceeded 2,800.



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