19:54 GMT +323 March 2019
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    Seven Bombs Detonate in Thailand, Another Seven Defused by Police – Reports

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    BANGKOK (Sputnik) – Seven improvised explosive devices (IED) exploded on Saturday and Sunday in the provinces of Satun and Phatthalung in southern Thailand, and another seven IEDs were discovered and defused by the security forces, local media reported.

    The detonations, fortunately, inflicted no casualties but damaged several buildings, including a police station in Satun, Channel 3 broadcaster reported Sunday.

    Among possible perpetrators, the police named separatists, organized criminal groups, and criminals engaged in politics.

    Satun and Phatthalung are situated close to Thailand's southern-most Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani provinces. They border Malaysia and are majority-Malay and predominantly Muslim, whereas the rest of the state is mostly populated by Buddhists.

    READ MORE: Bomb Blast Hits Southern Thailand Leaving Six Servicemen Injured — Reports

    Violence in the region escalated in 2000, and a state of emergency was declared in 2004. Amid the turmoil, several groups of Muslim militants demanded either autonomy for the region or complete secession from Thailand. About 6,500 people have been killed during the ongoing conflict, with the majority of them being civilians.

    Thailand is also expected to hold general elections on March 24 — for the first time since the 2014 military coup.

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