BANGKOK: Two security officials died and 12 people were wounded in a blast in Thailand’s restive south on Saturday, an army spokesman said, as unrest continued despite plans for talks with a key rebel group.
The bomb hidden in a motorcycle in Yala provincial town was aimed at paramilitaries who had been manning a nearby checkpoint, said southern army spokesman Colonel Pramote Promin. Six civilians were among the wounded.
It follows twin bombings on Friday in Narathiwat, one of three Muslim-majority provinces near the Malaysian border where a nine-year insurgency has claimed more than 5,500 lives.
The Thai government has agreed to hold talks with Barisan Revolusi Nasional, part of a web of shadowy insurgent groups in the south.
A stubborn insurgency seeking greater autonomy has raged across several provinces in the south of Thailand bordering Malaysia for nine years — with near-daily shootings and bombings.
Malaysian premier Najib Razak on Thursday said his country would host the talks in Kuala Lumpur in two weeks, following discussions with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra who was in the country for bilateral meetings.