Bombings Kill 8 in Thai South

Posted March 31st, 2012 at 11:45 am (UTC-5)
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Officials in Thailand say eight people have died and at least 70 people were wounded in three bomb blasts just minutes apart in the country's insurgency-plagued south.

The governor of Yala says the bombs went off Saturday around lunchtime in Yala city's business area.

Authorities say the bombs, hidden in two motorcycles and a car, also set several nearby buildings on fire.

A separate blast in nearby Songkhla province claimed at least three lives and injured more than 200 people. Officials are blaming the explosion at a high-rise hotel in the city of Hat Yai on a gas leak.

Bombings, like those Saturday in Yala, are a common tactic of Islamic separatists who have been waging an insurgency in the Muslim-dominated provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani since early 2004. The conflict has taken more than 5,000 lives.