Power cuts, bombings rock areas of S. Thailand

A series of bomb explosions Sunday night rocked insurgency-plagued southern Thailand, killing three people and wounding 53 others, amid power blackouts and telephone cuts, military and police officers said. In what were apparently coordinated attacks, suspected Muslim separatists struck in four provinces of the deep south, setting off at least 23 bombs, said Col. Wichai Thongdaeng, a military spokesman. Two people were killed and 33 injured, four of them seriously, in Yala province, while one person died and 20 were wounded in a tourist-frequented town in Narathiwat province, he said. Two explosions tore through electricity transmitters in Pattani, causing blackouts in several areas of the province while two bombings were reported in Songkhla province. More than 2,000 people have perished in the four provinces since the insurgency erupted in 2004, fueled by decades of misrule by the central government in this predominantly Buddhist nation.