At least 16 people were injured in the blasts that went off between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. (0130 GMT and 0200 GMT), as people headed to work in the three Muslim-majority provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala, said Yala Governor Boonyasit Suwanarat.
One of the bombs went off at a government office in Yala minutes before Deputy Prime Minister Chitchai Wannasathit was due for a visit in the area. Chitchai is in charge of overseeing security in Thailand's south.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said that intelligence had indicated insurgents were planning a "major operation" for Thursday but the government's security prevention network was "not good enough" to block the attacks.
Many schools in the region canceled classes and sent students home amid concerns for their safety, said Nattakarn Bariphet, a regional education official. Schools and teachers, viewed by insurgents as symbols of authority, are frequent targets of violence, the AP reports.
Both fatalities occurred in Pattani province. A blast at the provincial town hall killed a security officer. Separately, a local official was killed by a bomb that went off at a tea shop known to draw a morning crowd of government employees, said Police Maj. Gen. Korkiat Wongworachat. Another eight were injured.