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Thailand Car Bomb Kills 5 In Pattani

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PATTANI, Thailand — Suspected Muslim insurgents detonated a car bomb in southern Thailand that killed six people Friday after businesses received warnings against opening on the Muslim holy day.

The suspects opened fire on a gold shop in Pattani province's Sai Buri district, hurting no one and fleeing, police Col. Asis U-mayee said. When security forces arrived at the scene, a bomb hidden in a gas canister in a nearby pickup truck went off, he said.

A border patrol volunteer, an administrative official and four civilians were killed. Twelve police officers were among the 44 people wounded. Security officials said the pickup truck containing the bomb had been stolen in a Sept. 7 attack in which three women were killed.

Friday's explosion set fire to buildings on both sides of the road in the town's commercial area, damaging rows of wooden shop houses.

Authorities said insurgents had distributed flyers in the past two weeks to warn local traders against operating their businesses on Fridays.

The attack came after a recent high-profile surrender of nearly 100 Muslim militants to the Thai authorities.

Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat are the only Muslim-dominated provinces in the predominantly Buddhist country. More than 5,000 people have been killed in the region since an Islamist insurgency erupted in 2004.

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