Nurses scrambled to attend to the wave of bloodied casualties in the main hospital in Sai Buri district, an AFP reporter at the scene said, adding blood donations were urgently required to help the wounded."There are six dead now, three men and three women," a Public Health ministry official said in Bangkok, a toll confirmed by the local hospital."Altogether 41 people have been wounded either from shrapnel or burns," she said, adding 19 "seriously injured" people had been ferried to bigger provincial hospitals.An army spokesman said militants opened fire on shops in Sai Buri town centre shortly after Friday prayers in the Muslim-majority region to lure security forces to the scene, before detonating the bomb.A complex insurgency calling for greater autonomy has plagued Thailand's Muslim-majority far south near the border with Malaysia since 2004, claiming more than 5,300 lives, both Buddhist and Muslim, with near daily bomb or gun attacks.The bomb, which sparked a fire that destroyed several shops, was meant as a warning to locals not to talk with security forces after nearly 100 suspected militants "surrendered" last week, according to Col Pramote Prom-in, an army spokesman in the South."The perpetrators are the hardcore and do not want a peaceful solution (to the conflict) so they wanted to terrorise residents not to take side with government," Col Pramote said. "But it will not affect the government's efforts."In response to an increase in violence over the summer, authorities said they had renewed peace talks with militant leaders."Don't call it negotiations ... but there are talks to achieve peace which is a crucial government policy," Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa said in August.But the attacks have continued.Analysts say the lattice of militant groups operating in the lush, forested three southernmost provinces are using increasingly sophisticated tactics to carry out co-ordinated assaults.Dozens of members of Thailand's security forces have been killed in recent weeks in ambushes and roadside bombs, while civilians perceived to have collaborated with authorities are also routinely executed.