Fri, Nov 05, 2004 - Page 6 News List

At least seven left dead as violence sweeps Thailand

UNREST The deaths came in the wake of an incident last week in which 78 Muslims died after being arrested by the military following a demonstration

AFP , BANGKOK

At least seven people have been killed in separate attacks in Thailand's restive south in the last 24 hours, police said yesterday amid a spate of violence following the deaths of 87 Muslims last week.

Two state railway workers and a policeman were shot dead early yesterday, while four other people were killed on Wednesday, police said.

Most of the deaths occurred in Narathiwat province, where 78 Muslims suffocated or were crushed after they were piled into military trucks last week following a demonstration at Tak Bai township.

Six others were shot dead by security forces at the demonstration and three more drowned.

Police said the railway workers were shot dead in Narathiwat province at about 9am, while a policeman was gunned down earlier in a neighboring province.

On Wednesday a mother and her son were shot dead at their grocery shop in Narathiwat province, while another man was killed during an attack that left his son injured in the same province where police found the unidentified body of a man who had been shot dead, police said.

"An unidentified group attacked the 75-year-old mother and her 39-year-old son at their grocery shop on Wednesday evening. The mother died at the scene while her son died later in hospital," a police spokesman said.

A 40-year-old man riding a motorcycle with his son, 15, had been attacked on their way home by about three men with a shotgun, said police Colonel Maitree Saengarun, adding the son had survived after being shot in the hand.

"The motive is believed to be linked to the ongoing violence in the south and police are investigating," Maitree said.

Police said they had also found the body of an unidentified man in Narathiwat province on Wednesday. The man had been shot.

The killings follow the brutal beheading of a Buddhist village leader in the mainly Muslim south on Tuesday, which was claimed as a revenge murder for the Muslims who died at Tak Bai in Narathiwat after a demonstration last week.

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