Shootout in Southern Thailand Kills Four Rebels

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In southern Thailand, four rebels have been killed in a shootout with government security forces. There's been a recent rise in violence in the region, which is predominantly Muslim.In southern Thailand, four rebels have been killed in a shootout with government security forces. There's been a recent rise in violence in the region, which is predominantly Muslim.

Four insurgents have been killed in a shootout with government security forces in Thailand's Muslim south on Friday. Police say separatist tensions intensified near the border with Malaysia.

Fighting erupted at dawn in a village in Yala Province when security forces came under fire after surrounding the home of a suspected militant. Four rebels were killed in the gunfight.

In a separate incident in Narathiwat Province, 12 people including a policeman were wounded when a bomb exploded beneath a pickup truck close to a market.
The blast came nine minutes after a bomb hidden in a motorcycle went off outside a Muslim teashop in the same district. No injuries were reported.

The incidents follow a sharp rise in the scale and volume of attacks in the past three weeks with Muslim villagers, soldiers, police and Buddhist monks among the victims.

Ethnic Malay Muslims represent the majority of the local population of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat provinces. More than 4,500 people have been killed and nearly 9,000 wounded in violence since 2004.

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