1 killed,11 injured in Thai blast

PATTANI: Suspected separatist militants injured 11 people in a bomb attack and shot dead a Muslim man in Thailand's troubled south on Monday, local police said.

The explosive, hidden in a motorcycle by a bank, went off late in the evening in Pattani province, close to where Buddhists were attending a festival.

Earlier in the day, four gunmen on two motorcycles opened fire on a 34-year-old Muslim rubber tapper as he travelled to work in Narathiwat province. Officers said he died at the scene.

Shadowy insurgents have killed more than 3,900 people in the past five years in the southernmost Thai provinces bordering Malaysia.

They target Buddhists and Muslims, with victims ranging from teachers and security forces to rubber plantation workers.

The insurgency erupted in January 2004, but tensions have simmered in the region, formerly an autonomous Malay Muslim sultanate, since it was annexed by predominantly Buddhist Thailand in 1902.