Monk, ranger and civilian slain in South

A Buddhist monk, a ranger and a civilian were killed in two attacks in Pattani province on Friday morning, police said.

In the first attack, one Buddhist monk and a paramilitary ranger were killed and another ranger wounded by a bomb explosion in Panare district. The blast went off about 6.40am on the Panare-Khok Krabue road near Ban Khlang intersection.

According to witnesses, a team of rangers was escorting monks collecting alms when a home-made roadside bomb was detonated, Pol Lt-Col Chaiwat Panboonthong, deputy chief of Panare police station, said.

Phra Yarn Promnukul of Wat Thepnimit and Ranger Sakchai Jiamram were killed in the bomb blast. Ranger Banjong Pethraj was injured and taken to hospital.

In the second attack, a 64-year-old man was killed in a drive-by shooting in Khok Pho district. The attack took place on a local road in Ban Rang, tambon Magrude about 8.30am. 

Chief of Khok Pho police station Pol Col Suchart Assawachindarath said the victim was identified as Suphap Kaewjaeng, a resident of house No 27/3, Moo 5, tambon Magrude.

Witnesses told police that Suphap was travelling along the road when a gunman riding pillion on another motorcycle fired at him with a handgun.

Mr Suphap took one bullet to the head and died on the spot.

Police believed separatist militants were responsible for the two attacks.Almost 6,000 people have been killed in violence in the South since Jan 4, 2004, when the current period of unrest began.

According to the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 Forward Command, a total of 5,926 people died in sectarian violence in Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Chana, Thepha, Saba Yoi and Na Thawi districts of Songkhla between Jan 4, 2004 and Dec 31 last year. 

Of the dead, 3,461 were Muslims and 2,431 were Buddhists. A further 10,593 people were also injured during the same period.

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