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Three Muslims shot dead in Thai south: police

world Updated: Jan 24, 2009 09:29 IST
Three Muslims shot dead in Thai south: police

Suspected insurgents have shot dead three Muslims in attacks across Thailand's far south, where a bloody separatist rebellion has been raging for five years, police said on Saturday.

In Yala province, a 46-year-old man was shot dead outside a mosque after Friday prayers. Police told reporters that he was likely targeted because militants suspected he was working as a police informant.

In separate attacks in the same province on Friday, a 65-year-old woman was shot dead outside her house and a 30-year-old man was killed in a drive-by shooting as he went to feed fish at a local pond.

More than 3,500 people have been killed since separatist unrest erupted five years ago in the deep south. Tensions have simmered since Thailand annexed the mainly Malay sultanate in 1902.

Successive governments have vowed to tackle the unrest, but have had little impact on the almost-daily violence carried out by shadowy rebel groups who rarely claim responsibility for their attacks or make clear demands.