Thai authorities say hit dozen locations in deep south

Thai authorities say hit dozen locations in deep south

BANGKOK: More than a dozen locations in Thailand's restive deep south were hit on Wednesday, injuring seven people, authorities said.

Many of the targeted sites were convenience stores in petrol stations, all located in the provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani.

Since 2004, a low-level conflict has rumbled in Thailand's southernmost provinces, killing more than 7,000 people as militants in the Muslim-majority region fight for greater autonomy from the state.

A statement from the military said seven people were slightly injured in the incidents, while police said they were gathering CCTV footage and other evidence.

The immediate motive for the wave of attacks was not known, according to authorities. Militants usually target the Thai state and its security forces.

The coronaviruses brought a lull in southern clashes between rebels and the military, but a six-day gun battle in October last year killed six people.

The southern region - heavily polized by Thai security forces - is culturally distinct from Buddhist-majority Thailand, which colonised the area bordering Malaysia over a century ago.

Delegations representing the Thai government and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional rebels met in January for their first in-person peace talks in nearly two years, though no breakthrough was reported.

Since the insurgency reignited in January 2004, more than 7,000 people have been killed and 13,500 others injured in Thailand's far south, according to Deep South Watch, a local think tank.