3 Suspected Militants Killed In Southern Thailand

Published February 21, 2012 11:18AM (EST)

PATTANI, Thailand (AP) — Police say three suspected Muslim militants have been killed and three soldiers wounded in a shootout in Thailand's violence-prone south.

Police Col. Manit Yimsai says the gunbattle started Tuesday after a group of suspected insurgents on a pickup truck began firing their rifles at soldiers who were erecting a roadside security checkpoint in Pattani province's Panarae district. Four other attackers escaped after the 30-minute gunfight.

Nearly 5,000 people have been killed in Thailand's three southernmost provinces since an Islamist insurgency flared up in 2004. Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani are the only Muslim-dominated provinces in the predominantly Buddhist country.

By Salon Staff

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