Narathiwat: A car bomb exploded
in southern Thailand on Wednesday, injuring seven people, police
said, a day after the government moved to end emergency rule
in another part of the restive region.
The makeshift device, made of about 15 kilos of
explosives packed into a fire extinguisher, was detonated by
mobile phone in front of a highway department office in
Narathiwat province, authorities said.
They said three government officials and four villagers
were hurt in the blast, which blew the roof off the car.
In another incident in neighbouring Yala province,
suspected militants detonated a roadside bomb and tried to
ambush patrolling security officials, although nobody was
hurt, police said.
Suspected Islamic insurgents have waged a violent
campaign in the region since early 2004, leaving more than
4,400 people dead, both Muslims and Buddhists.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the latest unrest
would not change his government`s plan to lift emergency rule
in a pocket of the troubled deep south as a test case for the
rest of the Muslim-majority region.
"We will look at it area by area and take the general
situation into consideration," he told reporters in Bangkok.
The emergency laws -- which give broad powers to security
forces -- are being rolled back in Mae Lan district in
Pattani, one of three provinces near the Malaysian border
which have been subject to the decree since 2005.
Abhisit said he was confident that Bangkok`s New Year
countdown celebrations would be peaceful.