'Gunmen' kill 3 Muslims in Yala, Thailand's police say

Local Muslims oppose the presence of more than 60,000 Thai police, soldiers and state-armed Buddhist militia in the rubber-rich region.

'Gunmen' kill 3 Muslims in Yala, Thailand's police say

"Gunmen" shot and killed three Muslim villagers, including a local leader and his daughter, in front of their home in Yala region, Thailand's police said on Sunday.

Local Muslims oppose the presence of more than 60,000 Thai police, soldiers and state-armed Buddhist militia in the rubber-rich region.

Most think suspect the authorities of carrying out extrajudicial killings.

At least three gunmen armed with M-16 and AK-47 rifles ambushed the villagers after evening prayers late on Saturday in Yala province, shooting them in the head and chest, said Col. Sawasdi Tiavirat, the district police chief.

Three provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani were once an independent Muslim sultanate until occupied by predominantly Buddhist Thailand.

The victims were the 61-year-old village leader, his 35-year-old daughter and his 42-year-old son-in-law, he said.

Nearly 3,500 people have been killed in five years of unrest in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

Saturday's shootings followed a truck bomb on Friday that killed a policeman and wounded 10 villagers. A bomb exploded in a motorcycle on Thursday, wounding 22 people. Shootings on Wednesday killed 10 people, including provincial politicians.



Agencies

Last Mod: 06 Eylül 2009, 16:12
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