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Motorcycle blast kills father-daughter duo in Thailand's troubled south

A child's backpack lies on the ground as members of a Thai bomb squad inspect the site of a motocycle blast in front of a school by suspected separatist militants in the Takbai district. Photograph: (AFP)

Agencies Narathiwat Thailand Sep 06, 2016, 09.28 AM (IST)
A father-daughter duo was killed in a motorcycle bomb explosion today in front of a Thai elementary school in southern Narathiwat province as parents were dropping off their children, officials said. 

"The two dead were father and daughter," Noppdol Kingthong, a Tak Bai police detective, told AFP. The bomb was set off by radio control as the pair were near the school gate on a motorbike, he added. 

The attack injured dozens others, AFP reported, quoting a hospital worker. 

The explosion comes less than a month after a wave of bombings hit the tourist towns, including Hua Hin, Phuket and Surat Thani, leaving at least four people dead and injuring dozens.

According to police, the tourist-town bombings were linked to the southern insurgency. A suspect was arrested over the weekend in connection with the attacks.

Meanwhile, defence minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters today that the military government that took power in May 2014, were making security preparations ahead of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha on September 12.

For years, ethnic Malay insurgents in the kingdom's so-called "Deep South" have targeted schools and teachers, who are viewed as symbols of Thai state power over the culturally distinct Muslim-majority region. 

Insurgency-related violence in the Muslim-majority Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani province has claimed more than 6,500 people since the conflict began, according to Deep South Watch that monitors the conflict.

(WION with inputs from Reuters, AFP) 
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