Bomb kills 4 soldiers, wounds 6 in southern Thailand

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Hat Yai (AP) — A roadside bomb killed four army rangers and wounded five other rangers and a civilian Friday in the nation’s insurgency-plagued south, police said.

Pol. Col. Mana Daechawarit of the Sai Buri district police station said the soldiers were on a morning patrol in Pattani province when the pickup truck in which they were traveling was struck by the blast. The wounded civilian was a passing motorist.

More than 6,500 people have been killed since the Muslim separatist insurgency flared in the three southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat in 2004.  Recent cease-fire talks between the government and some separatist factions have made little progress.

Col. Pramote Promin, spokesman for the military’s Internal Security Operations Command, told local television station TPBS that Friday’s blast was an attack that targeted government officials. He said the injuries to those wounded were not believed to be serious.