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Four dead in fresh south Thailand clashes: police

world Updated: Apr 04, 2009 10:53 IST

AFP
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Thai security officials shot dead two suspected separatist militants during a gunfight on Saturday in the restive southern border area, police said.They said about 100 soldiers and police had surrounded a house in Narathiwat, one of three Muslim-majority provinces wracked by five years of unrest, after a tip-off that militants were inside.

After a 15-minute exchange of fire between authorities and seven militants, police arrested one and said two others had been killed, adding that four gunmen had fled. One policeman was also wounded, they said.The incident followed the deaths of two other men overnight in nearby Pattani province, police said.

A 60-year-old Buddhist man and his 18-year-old nephew were killed in front of their home in a drive-by shooting, they said.More than 3,600 people have been killed and thousands more injured in five years of separatist violence in Thailand's Muslim-majority provinces near the Malaysian border.

Buddhist-majority Thailand annexed the ethnic Malay area in 1902, sparking decades of tension.

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