World Bulletin/News Desk
A motorcycle bomb killed two military rangers and wounded 11 people in southern Thailand on Saturday, the second attack in as many days after one of the Muslim groups agreed to hold peace talks.
The blast on a road in Yala province, in which two civilians were among the wounded, followed a similar motorcycle bombing in neighbouring Narathiwat province on Friday that wounded six people.
The attacks come two days after a landmark agreement between the Thai government and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) group to start talks aimed at ending a conflict that has claimed more than 5,000 lives since 2004.
The agreement, brokered by Malaysia, was signed in Kuala Lumpur and the two sides are expected to begin preliminary talks in two weeks.
Analysts said it was far from clear whether all groups supported peace talks with the Thai government.
An escalation in attacks in the coming weeks would be a test of Thailand's commitment to holding peace talks with the BRN.
The provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat were once part of a Muslim Malay sultanate before being annexed by Thailand in 1909 and resistance to Buddhist rule from Bangkok has existed for decades in the predominantly Muslim provinces.Last Mod: 02 Mart 2013, 14:54