2 army rangers killed in ambush in southern Thailand

HAT YAI, Thailand (AP) — Police say suspected insurgents have ambushed a unit of patrolling army rangers in southern Thailand, killing two and wounding four.

Pol Lt. Col. Sarawut Nucharong, deputy investigator of a local police station in Pattani province, says an unknown number of gunmen ambushed six rangers who were patrolling a street in Pattani on Tuesday night. A firefight that ensued left two rangers dead and four injured.

Police suspect that the attack was carried out by Muslim separatists in the region.

Predominantly Buddhist Thailand's three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat have been plagued by a Muslim separatist insurgency that has claimed the lives of almost 7,000 people since the insurgency flared in 2004, according to the research group Deep South Watch.