Asia

Gun attack in Thailand's south leaves six dead

Workers clean the debris following Wednesday night's shooting outside a grocery store in Pattani province, southern Thailand, 2 May 2013 Image copyright AP
Image caption A note left at the scene did not identify the group behind the attack

Six people, including a young child, have been killed in southern Thailand after a gun attack at a village shop, police say.

At least four gunmen fired bullets at the shop in Pattani province before escaping on motorbikes.

The attack comes days after a second round of peace talks between Muslim separatists and the Thai government.

More than 5,000 people have been killed since a separatist insurgency reignited in the Muslim-majority region in 2004.

A toddler was among those killed in the attack on Wednesday night. Another man was also injured, according to reports. All those killed were believed to be Buddhists.

A note left at the scene did not identify the group behind the attack, but said it was in retaliation for the deaths of some of their fellow members.

That may have been a reference to events nearly three months ago when 16 insurgents were killed during an attempt to overrun a Thai military base, says the BBC's Jonah Fisher in Bangkok.

This attack casts further doubt on the recently started peace process between the Thai government and one separatist rebel group, the BRN, our correspondent adds.

Two rounds of talks have been held in Malaysia. At the most recent last week, Thai negotiators urged rebel leaders to demonstrate their credibility by reducing attacks.

Thailand is a Buddhist-majority country, but Muslims are the majority in the three southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

Muslim militants, who are fighting for greater autonomy, are believed to carry out the almost daily gun and bomb attacks against civilians and security forces in the area.

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