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Bombings in insurgency-plagued southern Thailand kill 3, injure 14


HAT YAI, Thailand — Nine bomb blasts targeting different areas of a southern Thai province have killed three people and injured 14 others, the military said Friday.

Col. Pramote Promin, spokesman for the military's Internal Security Operations Command, said eight blasts Thursday night in Narathiwat province killed a soldier and two civilians. He said a ninth explosion of a 10-kilogram (22-pound) roadside bomb on Friday damaged a police car but did not cause any casualties.

Police blamed separatist insurgents for the explosions.

Targets of the Thursday night attacks included residential areas, a Buddhist temple, telecommunications and waterworks buildings, a local government office and a royally sponsored development project. They were detonated with timing devices, while the blast on Friday was set off remotely by radio, Pramote said.

More than 5,000 people have been killed since an insurgency erupted in 2004 in Thailand's three southernmost provinces, the only ones with Muslim majorities in the Buddhist-dominated country.

Malaysia hosted informal peace talks last month between Thai officials and a coalition of six Islamic rebel groups in an effort to reduce the violence in southern Thailand. However, it is unclear how much support the coalition has, and no concrete results were announced. As a conciliatory gesture, Thailand in July gave early release to a senior separatist leader who has been in prison for 18 years, and is expected this month to free a second one who has been serving a life sentence.

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