2 killed as Thai insurgents launch deadly train attack

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04:38 PM November 18th, 2012

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November 18th, 2012 04:38 PM

A Thai police officer examines the damage inside a train near the body of a railway guard after an attack by suspected insurgents in Rue So district of Pattani province, southern Thailand Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. Suspected insurgents have detonated an improvised bomb that derailed the train and killed two railway guards in Thailand’s south, hours before President Barack Obama visits the country. AP Photo/Rapee Mama

BANGKOK—Suspected militants detonated a bomb under a train in Thailand’s insurgency-riven deep south on Sunday, leaving two persons dead and 15 wounded, police said.

The device, which killed two railway guards, was buried under the railway in the flashpoint district of Rueso in Narathiwat, one of several Muslim-majority border provinces plagued by an eight-year conflict.

The wounded included passengers and railway employees. No foreigners were thought to have been on board the local train, which was severely damaged in the blast.

Police Colonel Dulyaman Yaena said an unknown number of insurgents exchanged gunfire with other railway guards before fleeing.

An insurgency calling for greater autonomy has racked Thailand’s far south near the border with Malaysia since 2004. It has claimed more than 5,300 lives, both Buddhist and Muslim, with near-daily bomb or gun attacks.

The militants are rebelling against a history of perceived discrimination against ethnic Malay Muslims by successive Thai governments, as well as alleged rights abuses by the army.

The incident was the second attack on the weekend Obama arrives in Thailand. He will also visit Myanmar and Cambodia. In the other incident, one person was killed when a motorcycle bomb exploded.

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