Thailand Jihad Update. “Attack in Thailand kills 8 soldiers,” by Sutin Wannabovorn for the Associated Press:
The soldiers were on a routine morning patrol in the Chanae district of Narathiwat province when a bomb hidden on the road exploded as their vehicle passed, said the spokesman, Col. Akara Thiprote.
After the blast, suspected insurgents attacked the vehicle with a barrage of gunfire, leaving no survivors, he said.
“One of the soldiers was beheaded. His head was found 50 meters away from the scene of the attack,” said police Lt. Col. Chakkrote Nongmanee, who inspected the blast site.
It was not immediately clear at what point the soldier was beheaded.
An initial investigation indicated that about 20 suspected insurgents had been hiding behind brush along the roadside, Chakkrote said, adding that police found 10 weapons left in the area, including eight M-16 assault rifles, a submachine gun and a pistol.
More than 2,800 people have been killed in Thailand’s Muslim-majority southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, and some parts of neighboring Songkhla, since a long-simmering Islamic separatist insurgency flared in January 2004.