BANGKOK - Two Thai military rangers were killed and six were wounded on Tuesday when a bomb planted in a motorcycle exploded in the southern province of Pattani, a police officer said.

At least 5,000 people have been killed in southern Thailand since 2004 in violence attributed to Muslim separatists.

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Thailand is predominantly Buddhist but the three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat are Muslim-dominated and were part of an independent Malay Muslim sultanate until annexed by Thailand in 1909.


Police told Reuters that the soldiers from a ranger unit were traveling in a pickup truck, heading to an outpost when a bomb of up to 10 kg was remotely detonated on a road near a military camp.

About 30,000 troops are in the region, trying to crush the insurgency, but they have had little success.