29 Jul 2012

Militants shoot dead four Thai soldiers

10:35 am on 29 July 2012

An attack on an army patrol in southern Thailand has left four soldiers dead and two others wounded.

A Thai military spokesperson is reported as saying the attack in Pattani province was carried out on Saturday by about 20 armed militants who opened fire on the patrol from several pick-up trucks.

It follows a bomb attack in nearby Yala province on Wednesday, in which five police officers were killed.

Daily bomb or gun attacks have targeted soldiers and civilians in Thailand's three southernmost provinces since 2004, killing more than 5000 people, AFP reports.

Rights campaigners say a state of emergency in the worst-affected areas has given legal immunity to the tens of thousands of military troops stationed there, fuelling human rights abuses.