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Suspected insurgents kill two Buddhists, behead one, in southern Thailand

Suspected insurgents kill two Buddhists, behead one, in southern Thailand

Suspected Muslim insurgents in southern Thailand killed two Buddhist villagers, beheading one of them, and left a note saying the attack was revenge for a deadly weekend bombing at a mosque, police said Monday.
The two burned bodies, one of them headless, were found on a road in Pattani province's Nong Chik district, said police Lt. Natachai Janpho. A severed head was found about five kilometers (three miles) from the scene, Natachai said. He said they were apparently killed Sunday night, but there was no indication as to how.
A spray-painted message on the road near the bodies said, "This is revenge for Hutae Bongor," Natachai said. Hutae Bongor is a nearby town where the mosque bombing Saturday night killed a Muslim man and injured three others.
The message suggested that the attackers believed the culprits in the mosque attack were members of the security forces of Thailand's Buddhist-dominated government. However, authorities said they suspected the mosque attackers were Muslim militants bent on stirring up communal tension.
Despite a recent spate of what has looked like tit-for-tat attacks in the south, authorities have played down any suggestions that sectarian violence is breaking out. Instead, they generally have blamed Islamic militants for attacks on both Buddhists and Muslims.
Thailand is overwhelmingly Buddhist, but Muslims are a majority in the deep south, where they have long complained of discrimination.
Since a Muslim rebellion flared up in the three southernmost provinces in early 2004, near-daily bombings, drive-by shootings and other attacks in the area have killed more than 2,000 people.
More than 20 of the victims are believed to have been beheaded in the attacks.
Insurgents have targeted Buddhist civilians in what is believed to be an attempt to drive them from the area and to rouse animosity between followers of the two religions.
Muslim citizens _ especially those seen as collaborating with the government _ have also been killed.


Updated : 2021-02-28 21:00 GMT+08:00