Attack on Buddhist temple in southern Thailand kills 2 monks

HAT YAI, Thailand (AP) — Police say gunmen presumed to be Muslim insurgents have stormed a Buddhist temple in southern Thailand, killing two monks and wounding two others.

The Friday night attack in Narathiwat province is the latest in a recent upsurge of violence in the area, which since 2004 has been plagued by a separatist insurgency that has claimed about 7,000 lives. Narathiwat is one of Thailand's three southernmost provinces, the only ones with Muslim majorities in the Buddhist-dominated country.

The attacks have occurred during an effort to revitalize peace talks between the Thai government and some insurgent groups, and may be an effort to scuttle them by stoking popular outrage and inviting heavy handed retaliation.