BANGKOK: Six Thai soldiers were killed when their patrol vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the insurgency-plagued south on Monday, police said.

The bomb in Pattani province hit a pick-up truck carrying ten soldiers.

“The roadside bomb exploded before noon, killing six and injuring four,” said Preuk Liengsuk, the police chief of Thung Yang Daeng district.

“We are still checking the scene,” he told AFP by phone.

The Muslim-majority border region has been racked by violence for over a decade as ethnic Malay insurgents battle the government of Buddhist-majority Thailand for more autonomy.

Near-daily shooting and bomb attacks have claimed more than 6,800 lives since 2004, with both sides accused of rights abuses and atrocities.

Thailand’s ruling junta, which took power in 2014, has tried to restart peace talks with the Muslim militants.

But the negotiations have failed to gain traction, while attacks continue across the region.

The Thai side is unconvinced that the rebel’s representatives at the table can control foot soldiers, while the rebels do not believe the junta will concede political autonomy any time soon.

The last major bombing blamed on insurgents – who rarely claim attacks – left at least 40 people wounded outside a supermarket in Pattani in May. — AFP

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