PATTANI, Thailand: Six people were gunned down over 24 hours by suspected militants in a string of separate shootings in Thailand’s insurgency-plagued southern provinces, authorities said on Wednesday. The kingdom’s far south has witnessed a Malay-Muslim insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives in the past 12 years with both militants and Thailand’s military accused of rights abuses. Bombs and assassinations are the near-daily reality for civilians in the area, which is heavily patrolled by soldiers and police. The killings all took place on Tuesday, a police statement said. The first fatality was a village chief, found at his home in the early hours of the morning shot in the head in southern Pattani province’s Yaring district.