By CS Thana
An army ranger has been killed and five others wounded in a roadside bomb attack on Thursday morning in an area of southern Thailand wracked by a Muslim insurgency.
The attack occurred around 08.00 am (1:00 GMT) in Yala Province while the military personnel were on patrol.
Yala central Police Col. Paphonwat Chaitiyawaranan told Anadolu Agency that the remaining soldiers were rushed to a nearby hospital where they remain in intensive care.
He said that he suspects the attack was carried out by insurgents with the aim of destabilizing a government plan in the area to build houses for the poor.
The southern insurgency is rooted in a century-old ethno-cultural conflict between Malay Muslims living in the southern region and the Thai central state where Buddhism is considered the de-facto national religion.
Armed insurgent groups were formed in the 1960s after the then-military dictatorship tried to interfere in Islamic schools, but the insurgency faded in the 1990s.
In 2004, a rejuvenated armed movement -- composed of numerous local cells of fighters loosely grouped around an organization called the National Revolutionary Front, or BRN -- emerged.
The confrontation is one of the deadliest low-intensity conflicts on the planet.