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Three shot dead, schools hit in Thai south

world Updated: Aug 06, 2007 06:17 IST
AFP
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Militants shot dead three Muslims and set primary schools on fire in separate attacks in Thailand's insurgency-hit south, police said on Sunday.



Two other men were injured after the militants ambushed a pick-up truck in Yala province late on Saturday.



In the neighbouring province of Pattani, attackers set alight three public elementary schools, police said, adding that at least two buildings had been reduced to ashes.



Separatist rebels often attack public schools, as they are seen as symbols of Thailand's attempt to impose Buddhist Thai culture on the Muslim-majority region bordering Malaysia.



Elsewhere, a soldier was wounded in a gunbattle with militants.



Thailand's army-backed government, which grabbed power in coup last year, has offered a series of olive branches in a bid to ease the unrest, which has left more than 2,400 people dead since January 2004.



But almost daily bombings and shootings continue to rock the region, which was an autonomous Malay sultanate until it was annexed a century ago.