Bombing at market in southern Thailand kills 3, injures 18

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Villagers look at the site of a bombing at a market in Yala province, southern Thailand. Monday, Jan. 22. (AP Photo/Somphop Suphanaranond)
Villagers look at the site of a bombing at a market in Yala province, southern Thailand. Monday, Jan. 22. (AP Photo/Somphop Suphanaranond)

Bangkok (AP) — A motorcycle bomb exploded at a market Monday morning in southern Thailand, killing three people and injuring 18, police said.

The attacker parked the bike rigged with explosives nearby and bought goods at the market to blend in with the crowd, police Lt. Eakapong Rattanachai said.

The bomb exploded when the attacker left the market area, causing the casualties, Eakapong said.

The explosion happened in Yala province, one of the nation’s three southernmost provinces where Muslim militants have waged a years-long insurgency.  More than 6,500 people have been killed in the violence since 2004.

Prime Minister Gen. Prayut has instructed local authorities to provide assistance to the victims’ families and has ordered officials to urgently gather evidence, track down those behind the bombing, and implement safety measures to restore public confidence.  He said he is very concerned about the safety of the local people and has called on all parties to condemn those behind the attack and serve as eyes and ears for law enforcement officers.