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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Thai violence ahead of key talks
An armed Thai soldier, right, secure a government office and a police station, 12 Oct 2004
Two people also died on Tuesday during violence in Pattani
Two men have been killed by suspected Muslim militants in southern Thailand, ahead of a meeting between the Malaysian and Thai prime ministers.

The two victims were shot as they stopped to buy fruit at a market in Narathiwat province, police said.

More than 350 people have died so far this year, in violence blamed on Muslim separatists.

Symbols of the mainly Buddhist Thai state, such as major buildings and security personnel, are often targets.

Of the two men killed on Wednesday, one was a policeman and the other a retired police officer.

On Tuesday, another two people were killed when suspected militants attacked a town hall in Pattani province.

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is due to fly to the southern resort of Phuket later on Wednesday, to meet Malaysian leader Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Their two-day annual meeting will focus on economic development as well as increasing security in southern Thailand and northern Malaysia, where many Thai Muslim militants are thought to be living.

The two leaders are also due to lay the foundation stone of a bridge across the Kolok River, which separates Malaysia and Thailand.

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