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Govt office attacked in Thailand, six killed

Suspected Islamic militants opened fire on a local government office in violence-wracked southern Thailand, killing six people.

india Updated: Mar 16, 2006 13:42 IST

Suspected Islamic militants opened fire Thursday on a local government office in violence-wracked southern Thailand, killing six people, police said.

The victims, a local official and five government employees, were inside the building in the Mayo district of Pattani province when three gunmen on motorbikes stopped, opened fire and then sped off, said Lt Col Montri Chulanuphan.

Bomb and gun attacks occur almost daily in Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala, the only Muslim-majority provinces in Thailand, which is mostly Buddhist.

The violence has killed more than 1,300 people since a Muslim insurgency flared in January 2004. Police identified the local official as Buddhist and the five government employees as Muslims.

Muslims seen as siding with the government have often been targeted in the violence.

A massive influx of soldiers and police in the past two years has failed to stem the attacks. At the same time, rights groups have accused government security forces of using excessive force.

First Published: Mar 16, 2006 13:42 IST