03:32 GMT +313 November 2019
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    Thai security forces

    At Least 15 Killed in Alleged Rebel Attack in South Thailand - Report

    © AFP 2019 / Madaree TOHLALA
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    Suspected separatist insurgents in the southern Yala province of Thailand used explosives and scattered nails on local roads to delay pursuers late on Tuesday night after reportedly killing at least 15 people and injuring four in a shooting at a security checkpoint.

    "This is likely the work of the insurgents [...] This is one of the biggest attacks in recent times", Colonel Pramote Prom-in, a regional security spokesman said, cited by Reuters.

    There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, according to the media report.

    Muslim Malay separatists are reportedly known to attack security personnel and monks in the southern Thai provinces which they see as territories occupied by a Buddhist-majority state.

    The roots of the local conflict date back to the early 20th century, when the territory of the Pattani sultanate became part of mostly Buddhist Siam (former name of Thailand) and was separated into three provinces — Naranthiwat, Pattani and Yala.

    Since then, Muslim movements in these regions have repeatedly called for broader autonomy and pushed for independence.

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    Investigation, attack, insurgency, rebels, Thailand
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