Security alert in South amid peace talks

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BANGKOK, March 29 – Security has been beefed up in Thailand’s southern border provinces amid sporadic attacks on government outposts, presumably as a protest against the peace talks between Thai government officials and Muslim separatist leaders in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

A militant group fired on a ranger post in Raman district of Yala province late Thursday night and engaged in an exchange of gunfire with the government personnel.

In Narathiwat province, a cloth banner and a bomb-like object were draped and hung near a bridge on a road between Pattani and Narathiwat to distract the authorities.

A home-made bomb inserted in a 25-kg gas cylinder, ready to be detonated, was hidden on the opposite side of the road. No one was injured by the booby-trap trick.

Police also reported that an M-79 grenade was fired at Ra-ngae district office in Narathiwat late last night but it hit a nearby tree.

The peace dialogue between the Thai government and insurgent groups was held in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday and the participants agreed to meet again on April 29.