|SUSPECTED Islamic rebels shot dead four Buddhists while three others were injured in separate attacks in Thailand's Muslim-majority south.|
An elderly couple were shot at point-blank range yesterday by four militants who posed as customers at their grocery shop in Ra Nage district of Narathiwat, one of three restive southern provinces bordering Malaysia, police said.
Militants then placed a bomb inside the shop that was aimed at killing police officers investigating the crime.
The bomb exploded but no one was injured.
In neighboring Pattani province, a 61-year-old Buddhist was shot dead in a drive-by shooting while he was riding a motorcycle.
A 49-year-old man was also gunned down late Friday in front of his house by two people on a motorcycle in Pattani.
Elsewhere, a 37-year-old Buddhist was injured in a drive-by shooting in nearby Yala province, and a Buddhist couple were also wounded in a small roadside bomb explosion in the province.
More than 2000 people have been killed since separatist violence erupted three years ago in the south.
The violence has worsened since a September coup, despite a series of peace initiatives by the army-installed Government.
Perfectly for the terrorists I mean.