Thailand roadside bomb kills police officer, injures three others | News

Southern Thailand is the site of a low-level uprising by Islamist militants that has left thousands dead.

A Thai policeman was killed and four others injured when a roadside bomb exploded as their vehicle passed near a hospital in Thailand. southern Thailandpolice said.

Police captain Wasuwat Kongtuk said a police motorcycle and a patrol van were traveling together when they were both hit by an explosion in front of a hospital in Mai Kaen town, Pattani province, on Tuesday night.

Explosion killed an officer on a motorcycle and caused the police car to turn into the street before crashing into a power pole. The three officers on the truck were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Police believe the bomb was placed in a trash can in front of the hospital and detonated remotely.

Television footage on Wednesday showed the damaged exterior of Mai Kaen hospital and a bomb crater at Mai Kaen Kittiwit school, located across from the hospital. Schools have been ordered to close for the day.

Explosives Disposal (EOD) officers cordoned off the area and scoured nearby streets for evidence.

Southern Thailand is under the control of low-level uprising led by Muslim fighterswho have long complained of discrimination by the country’s Buddhist majority.

The rebels are mainly active in the three southernmost provinces of Thailand, Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala and often attack government targets. The southern region bordering Malaysia is tightly controlled by Thai security forces and is also very culturally distinct from being colonized by Thailand more than a century ago.

Last month, a wave of at least 17 coordinated attacks and explosions targeted convenience stores at petrol stations in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat provinces, leaving seven people slightly injured.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought clashes in the South between rebels and the army to a halt, but a six-day gun battle last October left six people dead.

More than 7,300 people have been killed in conflict in southern Thailand since 2004, according to the group Deep South Watch, which tracks violence in southern Thailand.

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