Two Thai soldiers were killed when a powerful roadside bomb detonated near their truck in the kingdom's insurgency-plagued south on Tuesday, police said.
The men, both aged 26, were travelling to a New Year event in Pattani, one of three southern provinces where eight years of conflict has claimed the lives of thousands, both Muslims and Buddhists.
"They were invited to join a New Year party with local villagers," said an official from local Mayo district police, adding that the victims had died instantly in the blast.
According to the latest figures from Deep South Watch, which closely monitors the conflict, 4,984 people have been killed and 8,300 wounded since the unrest began in 2004.
Thailand's deep south is currently facing severe flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains.