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Multiple blasts rock ‘peace progress’ claims in Thai south

Muslim insurgents detonated more than 20 home-made explosives across Thailand’s south, the army said yesterday – in a night of violence that undermined the junta’s claims of headway in peace talks with the rebels. The mainly Buddhist kingdom’s southern provinces have been plagued by a 14-year fight between ethnic Malay militants and the Thai state that has left nearly 7,000 dead. On Sunday, suspected rebels launched their most sweeping attack in recent months, striking 14 ATM booths, two electricity poles and other public spaces and security posts. No one was killed in the explosions, which went off across the four Muslim-majority provinces bordering Malaysia. Attacks are common during the Muslim fasting period of Ramadan, which began last week. ST – EP

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