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3 policemen killed in attack in Thailand's south

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March 15, 2013 02:34 AM EST | AP

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HAT YAI, Thailand — Suspected militants have detonated a roadside bomb that killed three police officers in Thailand's insurgency-plagued south.

Police Col. Anothai Jindamanee says the explosion went off Friday near a bridge in Rue So district in Narathiwat province as the officers were passing in a pickup truck.

He said the three policemen, including a deputy commander of the district police, were on their way back from attending a school activity.

The militants have mainly targeted security forces and teachers, who are seen as representatives of the government of the Buddhist-dominated nation.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in the three southernmost provinces since an Islamist insurgency erupted in 2004.