Car bomb kills five soldiers in Thai south

Five soldiers were killed on Sunday in a bomb attack by suspected insurgents in Thailand's violence-wracked deep south, police said.

The bomb, which also wounded a sixth soldier, was detonated as the troops passed by in their patrol vehicle in a village in Yala, one of several Muslim-dominated provinces near the border with Malaysia.

"About 10 insurgents are believed to have hidden nearby and detonated the bomb, which was attached to another car," Police Major Torphan Phusuntiae told AFP by telephone.

He said a man and a woman working in a rubber plantation were also wounded in the blast.

Torphan said the soldiers were targeted because they regularly received tip-offs and information about insurgents from the villagers.

A shadowy insurgency calling for greater autonomy has plagued Thailand's far south near the border with Malaysia since 2004, claiming more than 5,300 lives, both Buddhist and Muslim.

Members of Thailand's security forces are frequently targeted in ambushes and roadside bombs, while civilians perceived to have collaborated with Thai authorities are also routinely executed.

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