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Thailand: "Peaceful" muslims set off six bombs on New Year’s Eve, attack military checkpoint



The New Year has brought no let-up in terrorism in Thailand’s restive Muslim-majority southernmost region with a series of bomb and gun attacks targeted at security forces.

Suspected Islamist insurgents attacked a military checkpoint in the province of Narathiwat on Jan. 3, killing a ranger and wounding two others, according to official sources.

During a shootout that lasted around half an hour, armed men exchanged fire with rangers at the checkpoint before retreating, officials said.

On New Year’s Eve, meanwhile, six bombs set by suspected insurgents exploded in the province of Yala, another of three violence-ridden provinces bordering Malaysia.

The bombs damaged power posts and a mobile phone signal tower, among other targets, leading to a blackout in the area, but there were no reported injuries.

The Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), a shadow separatist group whose name translates as National Revolutionary Front, claimed responsibility for the blasts.

The group said on its website that its “warriors of a new generation” were making their mark against the Thai state, whose rule over the predominantly Malay provinces the insurgents have sought to end.

Despite various peace-building initiatives aimed at local Muslims and heavy-handed crackdowns on suspected militants, Thai security forces have been unable to suppress militant cells that appear to operate with impunity at times since hostilities erupted in 2004….