• 40 hurt in explosion in Thailand’s south

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    BANGKOK: At least 40 people were injured on Tuesday when a double bombing hit a town in Thailand’s insurgency-plagued south, police said, the latest suspected rebel attack to undermine stalled peace efforts.

    The Muslim-majority border region has seethed with violence for over a decade as ethnic Malay insurgents battle the Buddhist-majority state for more autonomy.

    The latest attack struck the town of Pattani around 2 p.m., with two bombs going off in quick succession outside a supermarket near the city centre.

    “The first bomb was small and no one was hurt but the second bomb was huge – I don’t know yet whether it’s a car bomb or not,” Captain Preecha Prachumchai of Pattani provincial police told Agence France-Presse.

    “Currently around 40 people have been wounded: one is in serious condition,” he said.

    Pictures posted by rescue workers on Twitter showed a thick plume of black smoke over the supermarket car park and some damage to the store entrance.

    Near-daily shootings and bomb attacks have claimed more than 6,800 lives since 2004, with both sides accused of rights abuses and atrocities.

    AFP

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