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Last Updated: Monday, 22 March, 2004, 12:11 GMT
More killings in Thailand's south
Body of policeman, Nu Bindaoh
Nu Bindaoh, a Thai police officer, was shot dead in Narathiwat
Three people in Thailand have been killed in separate incidents as unrest continues in the mainly Muslim south of the country.

Officials say the dead were two police officers and a community leader.

Unidentified attackers also set fire to a school in Narathiwat province, one of the worst-affected by the violence.

The government imposed martial law in the area in January and has blamed Islamic militants for violence that has killed about 60 people.

Officials said policeman Nu Bindaoh, 45, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle in Narathiwat, while another officer, Charoonrat Rana-udom, 50, was slashed to death with a machete by unidentified attackers in Pattani while he was going into his house.

A village headman in Yala province, Lohmae Yakoh, was shot dead by unidentified gunman riding a motorcycle.

Accused

The killings took place just hours after police paraded seven Muslim suspects they said had been involved in a raid at an army camp and the torching of 21 schools in January in Narathiwat - the incident which sparked the crisis

One of the suspects, Anupong Panchayangkul, told reporters at a news conference that some Muslim lawmakers in Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Thai Rak Thai party were behind the unrest.

A group of Muslim MPs issued a swift denial.

"We flatly deny allegations that some members of our group were behind the armed robbery," the Wahdah group of five Muslim MPs in the Thai Rak Thai Party said in a statement.

Killings on an almost daily basis have continued despite a government pledge to spend $304m on development projects in the region over two years.

Thailand's minority Muslims have long complained of discrimination in jobs, education and culture by the predominantly Buddhist central government.


SEE ALSO:
Concern grows over Thai lawyer
18 Mar 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Thai cabinet approves south plan
16 Mar 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Thai south hit by fresh violence
03 Feb 04  |  Asia-Pacific
'Bomb plot' against Apec summit
14 Jun 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Armed raids in southern Thailand
04 Jan 04  |  Asia-Pacific


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