Car bomb in Thailand’s restive south: 2 dead

A bomb planted under the car of a district official in Thailand's restive south exploded Thursday, killing two people inside the car and seriously injuring the official, police said. The homemade bomb was believed to have been triggered by a mobile phone and struck the car of a top official of Joh I Rong district in Narathiwat province, police Lt. Col. Mustopa Mani said.

The blast occurred when the car was about 15 meters (50 feet) from the district office, where about 200 municipal officials were expected to gather later in the day for a monthly meeting. Police believe that attackers planned to target the meeting.

The explosion at about 9 a.m. (0200 GMT) killed the car's driver and another man who was identified as an assistant to the district official, police said.

More than 1,200 people have died in the past two years in sectarian violence that officials blame on Islamic separatists in Thailand's three southernmost, Muslim-dominated provinces, Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani. Government efforts to curb the insurgency have been unsuccessful, reports the AP. I.L.

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