Three Muslims shot dead in Thai south

Three Muslims shot dead in Thai south Muslims as they left a mosque after evening prayers in Thailand's insurgency-plagued south, police said on Thursday, amid an apparent spike in bloodshed in the region.

Two men and a woman died when attackers opened fire on the Banna Praow mosque in Pattani, one of three southern provinces that have been rocked by eight years of violence, last night.

"They were still inside the walls of the mosque when they were shot after evening prayers. We do not know the motive yet," said local police officer Lieutenant Parinya Kwankaew.

More than 5,100 people have been killed -- both Muslims and Buddhists -- in attacks across Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat since unrest escalated in January 2004, according to Deep South Watch which monitors the violence. (AFP)