Australian photographer, 3 police injured by bomb in southern Thailand

Updated on May 22, 2007 08:57 AM IST
An Australian photographer and three policemen were wounded when a bomb believed set by Muslim insurgents exploded in southern Thailand.
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AP | BySumeth Pranphet, Thailand

An Australian photographer and three policemen were wounded on Tuesday when a bomb believed set by Muslim insurgents exploded in southern Thailand, officials said.

The homemade bomb, hidden on a roadside, went off when a police team was inspecting the body of a Buddhist man shot dead and set afire in Yala province, said police Lt. Col. Saratwuth Wongderm.

The officer said he believed the insurgents had set a trap for police, who rushed to the scene after a caller informed them that a person had been slain.

Australian photographer Philip Blenkinsop, who was on assignment for Time magazine, was among the wounded.

"I was about four meters (12 feet) away from the body where the bomb was hidden. I am very lucky that the bomb didn't have too many sharp nails in it. I pity the man who was shot in the head and burned," Blenkinsop said at a hospital where he was being treated for minor wounds to the face and eye.

Blenkinsop, based in Bangkok since the mid-1980s, is an award-winning photographer who has covered a number of conflicts, including the guerrilla war in Indonesia's Aceh province, the communist insurgency in Nepal and the plight of the ethnic Hmong in communist Laos.

He began his career with The Australian newspaper in Sydney, but left Australia to work in Southeast Asia.

Thailand's southernmost provinces have been racked by a Muslim insurgency which has killed more than 2,200 people since early 2004. The secretive rebels are believed to be fighting for an independent Islamic homeland.

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