Six reported dead as Muslim insurgents launch 34 attacks in south Thailand

Suspected Muslim insurgents seized dozens of weapons in 34 coordinated nighttime attacks that left six people dead across southern Thailand, the military said Thursday.

Meanwhile, authorities said they arrested four more people over the Oct. 16 slayings of a Buddhist monk and two boys in the south.

The latest attacks took place over several hours Wednesday night along the Malaysian border in Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani provinces, said regional military spokesman Col. Somkuan Saengpataraneth.

The violence killed four villagers two of them village chiefs and two insurgents, and injured seven other people, Somkuan said.

Insurgents apparently struck at 34 places in the three provinces and "took away dozens of guns from the houses of the village chiefs and from the village defense volunteers," military spokesman Lt. Gen. Palangul Klaharn said on Thai station ITV.

Somkuan said the situation was "under control." Local authorities offered rewards of 20,000 baht (US$490; Ђ400) for the return of any of the weapons.

More than 1,100 people have died since a once-dormant south Thailand Islamic separatist movement re-emerged in January 2004, reports the AP.

Photo: AFP P.T.