Muslim rebels kill two soldiers, two civilians in Thailand

Suspected Muslim separatist rebels fatally shot two soldiers, a teacher and a government bureaucrat in the latest violence in Thailand's restive south, officials said Monday. About 10 suspected rebels opened fire Sunday on soldiers guarding a railway station in Narathiwat province's Ruesor district, killing two soldiers, said Police Maj. Gen. Yongyuth Charoenwanich.

A few hours later, suspected rebels shot dead 38-year-old schoolteacher Hama Daeyideen as he returned from work in nearby Pattani province's Yarang district, Police Maj. Gen. Kokiart Wongworachat.

Also in Yarang, two gunmen stormed the house of bureaucrat Somsak Musamee, 41, and shot him to death, Kokiart said.

More than 1,200 people have been killed in the past two years in attacks the government has blamed on a shadowy group that wants to create an independent Islamic state in southern Thailand, a predominantly Muslim area where many have long complained of discrimination in the Buddhist-majority country.

Since the beginning of 2006, 38 people have been killed in Thailand's three southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, reports the AP. I.L.

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