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2 soldiers killed in insurgency attack in S Thailand

Written By vibykhmer on Sunday, August 23, 2009 | 5:12 AM

BANGKOK, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Unidentified gunmen on two pick-up trucks sprayed bullets into a security checkpoint in Thailand's southern border province of Narathiwat early Sunday morning, killing two soldiers and injuring two other soldiers and a policeman, Thai media reported.

The attack against the checkpoint at the Yoongthong Intersection in Takbai district happened at 4:26 a.m. (2126 GMT Saturday), local newspaper The Nation's website quoted police sources as saying Sunday.

Police said the first pick-up truck arrived at the scene and parked about five meters away from the checkpoint, which has a police booth. The booth was manned by two policemen, four soldiers and a Provincial Administration Department official.

When the second pick-up truck arrived at the checkpoint, the officials informed the driver that they needed to search the truck. But about 10 men on the back of the truck opened fire at the authorities immediately.

The other truck then joined the fight and the two sides exchange gunfire for about 10 minutes before the two trucks fled the scene.

One soldier died at the scene and the other one died at the Narathiwat Provincial Hospital.

Police believed the southern separatist militants were behind the attack.

Thailand's deep South, which includes mainly the three southernmost provinces, Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, as well as some parts of Songkla province, has undergone violence by suspected separatists for years, during which more than 3,000 people have been killed since 2004.

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