Two suspected insurgents have been reported dead after a series of apparently coordinated attacks rocked 15 separate locations in Thailand’s southern border provinces Wednesday.
The attacks occurred between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. local time in the restive Malay Pattani region’s Narathiwat, Pattani and Songkhla provinces, according to the Thailand’s The Nation, which cited local police reports.
In twelve attacks reported in Narathiwat and Pattani, grenades were fired or hurled at military personnel, police stations, and villagers’ homes. Suspected insurgents also opened fire on a unit of troops. A bomb reportedly killed two attackers in Songkhla province when it fell and exploded before they reached their target.
A low level separatist insurgency has persisted in Thailand’s Muslim south for decades but intensified in the early 2000’s, with attacks in Bangkok and Phuket blamed on southern militants. On August 11 and 12 last year, a wave of bomb and incendiary device attacks killed at least four people and injured more than 30, including about a dozen foreign nationals. Unlike Wednesday evening’s attacks, those had targeted areas popular with tourists such as Phuket and the resort town of Hua Hin.