Six Rebels Killed, Trains Halted in Thai South

June 23, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Reuters

Security forces killed six suspected Muslim rebels in southern Thailand on Monday, where all rail services have been halted after a brutal weekend attack on a train, police said.

About 200 police and soldiers raided a jungle hideout used by Muslim separatist guerrillas in Yala, one of the four southernmost provinces where more than 3,000 people have been killed in a four-year insurgency, police said.

"It's a major victory as we have eliminated some snipers," Police Colonel Sompien Ekpanya told Reuters at the scene of the fighting.

Police said they had found a rifle with telescopic sights and a dozen mobile phones used for detonating bombs.

After a relative five month lull, the insurgents -- who have never identified themselves or their aims -- have stepped up operations this month, most notably with Saturday's ambush of a moving train in which a policeman and three rail workers were killed.