Yala: A car bomb exploded on Sunday
in a city in Thailand`s insurgency-plagued far south, injuring
18 people, including four soldiers, police said.
The blast outside a bank started a large fire that swept
through nearby shops in Yala, the main city in one of three
provinces near the Malaysian border that have been under
emergency rule since 2005.
"There was a bomb hidden in a fire extinguisher in a
pick-up truck parked in front of a grocery shop near Siam City
Bank," a local police officer said.
Of the casualties, four were seriously wounded, including
three of the soldiers, authorities said.
Shadowy Islamic insurgents have waged a violent campaign
in Thailand`s southernmost region since early 2004, leaving
more than 4,400 people dead, including both Muslims and
Buddhists, in near-daily attacks.
Violence appears to have intensified recently: a bomb
attack in Yala province killed nine villagers last month and
an unusually bold attack by militants a week earlier on a
military base left at least four soldiers dead.
On Thursday three people, including a teacher, were shot
dead and their bodies burned in neighbouring Pattani province,
in one of a series of gun attacks in the region last week.