Bomb kills 3 at tea shop in Thailand

A bomb exploded at a tea shop Wednesday morning near a busy market in violence-plagued southern Thailand, killing three people and injuring nine, police said.

The bomb was attached to a parked motorcycle and triggered by a mobile phone when a military truck pulled up to the tea shop in the municipal township of Pattani, said police Col. Prasert Chansawang of Pattani province.

Police believe soldiers were the target of the explosion, which occurred near an outdoor market that is popular with military stationed in the area, Prasert said.

Six soldiers were among the injured. The three fatalities were civilians seated at the cafe when the bomb exploded about 9 a.m. local time (0200 GMT), he said.

Suspected Muslim separatists in Thailand's deep south have frequently used mobile phones to detonate explosives. The government has ordered all mobile phones in affected provinces to be registered, and has sought cooperation from neighboring Malaysia to bar roaming cross-border phone signals.

Violence occurs almost daily in Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala, the only Muslim-majority provinces in Thailand, which is mostly Buddhist. The violence has left more than 1,300 dead since a Muslim insurgency flared in January 2004, reports the AP.


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