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Bomb explodes in Thailand, wounding 20

world Updated: May 01, 2007 03:35 IST

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A bomb blast rocked a busy night market wounding 20 people on Monday in southern Thailand, where an Islamic insurgency has killed more than 2,000 people since early 2004.

A handwritten note found at the scene said the attack was revenge for a deadly weekend bombing at a mosque, said police Lt. Somjit Nasomyon.

Attackers hid the bomb in the front basket of a motorcycle, which was parked in front of a Muslim food stall in the market in Pattani province's Muang district, said Somjit. The 20 wounded people, four of them severely hurt, were rushed to the hospital.

Customers fled the scene in panic, and vendors closed their shops early, witnesses said.

Somjit said a message written in red ink said, "This is revenge for people in the mosque ... Who were cruelly killed by the soldiers."

Saturday's mosque bombing killed a Muslim man and injured three others. While the note blamed Thai security forces, authorities said they suspected the attackers were Muslim militants bent on stirring up communal tension.

Earlier today, suspected Muslim insurgents killed two Buddhist villagers, beheading one of them, and left a similar message saying the attack was in response to the mosque attack.

The two burned bodies, one of them headless, were found on a road in Pattani's Nong Chik district, said police Lt. Natachai Janpho. A severed head was found about five kilometers from the scene, he said, adding they were apparently killed yesterday night, but there was no indication as to how.