Muslim rebels behind an attack south of Thailand (police)

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Thailand’s National Revolutionary Front, the main Muslim rebel group in the south, is responsible for the deadliest attack in the troubled region in years, police said on Friday.

Fifteen people, including a policeman and many volunteers to defend villages in the area, were killed late on Tuesday when suspected separatists stormed a security checkpoint in Yala province.

It was the worst single attack in years in the region, where thousands have been killed in a separatist revolt against the central government in the mainly Buddhist country.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, as is customary in such attacks in the region.

“We have evidence that it is BRN,” said Ronasilp Bossara, police chief in the south, referring to the National Revolutionary Front, the main separatist group in southern Thailand.

“We have arrested a suspect who is now being interrogated. He also belongs to BRN.

Reuters could not immediately contact a MILF representative for comment.

The 10-year-old separatist insurgency in Thailand’s mainly Muslim provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat has killed nearly 7,000 people since 2004, according to the Deep South Watch, a group monitoring violence.

In August, the National Revolutionary Front (RNF) told Reuters it had held secret preliminary talks with the government, but no progress was made after the deputy prime minister rejected a key demand for the prisoners to be released.

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