PATTANI: A series of blasts shook a town in the restive Thai south leaving three dead and 17 wounded, officials said on Sunday, days after a major attack on a military base in the unrest-hit region.
Three bombs have exploded in the provincial town of Pattani since late Saturday, while police said four more devices had been defused, in the latest attacks to rock the Thai south, where thousands have died in a nine-year insurgency.
The National Security Council, said the incident was linked to Wednesday’s failed assault on a military base in neighbouring Narathiwat province that left 16 militants dead — one of the bloodiest incidents in the conflict.
“The militants want to show their power,” NSC secretary general Paradorn Pattanathabutr said.
A blast at around noon on Sunday in the centre of Pattani town killed a local security volunteer instantly, police said.
Hospital staff said two defence volunteers later died of their wounds, while around 17 people, including civilians, were injured.
The attacks began with two firebombs on Saturday night, which damaged local shops.
Thailand’s southernmost provinces near the Malaysian border suffer almost daily gun and bomb attacks by shadowy insurgents fighting for greater autonomy.
More than 5,500 people, both Buddhist and Muslim, have been killed in the bloody conflict since early 2004.
Members of Thailand’s security forces and civilians accused of collaboration with the authorities are frequently targeted with ambushes and roadside bombs.