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    Second bomb hits Thai south after peace talk start

    9:39 AM, Mar 1, 2013   |    comments
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    NARATHIWAT, Thailand (CBS) -- A second bomb exploded in Thailand's Narathiwat province on Friday (March 1), a day after a the Thai government and a Muslim rebel group agree to start talks aimed at ending a conflict that has claimed more than 5,000 lives since 2004.

    There were no reports of casualties.

    Thai police said a 50-kilogram home-made bomb was hidden in a truck and exploded just outside Narathiwat's police station. Authorities said the bomb was triggered by a mobile phone and an alarm clock but was only partially detonated.

    No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks so far. Earlier on Friday, a motorcycle bomb wounded six people.

    On Thursday (February 28), in a deal brought about with the help of Malaysia, Thailand agreed to pursue a peace talks with the Barisan Revolusi National (BRN), one of the Muslim groups fighting for autonomy in the south.

    Initial talks between Thailand and the BRN will start in two weeks, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said after a meeting with his Thai counterpart, Yingluck Shinawatra. There was no word on whether the agreement would be followed by a ceasefire.

    Various shadowy rebel groups are active in the south and analysts had said it was far from clear that all would accept the idea of peace talks.

    Resistance to Buddhist rule from Bangkok has existed for decades in the predominantly Muslim provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, which were part of a Malay sultanate before being annexed by Thailand in 1909.

    The conflict waned in the 1990s before resurfacing violently in 2004. Since then, 5,300 people have been killed according to Deep South Watch, which monitors the violence.

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