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Blast kills three cops in Thai south

Afp, Narathiwat - March 18th, 2013

A massive roadside bomb killed three policemen in Thailand’s restive south yesterday, an army spokesman said, a fortnight ahead of peace talks between Thai authorities and a rebel group.
The 90 kilogram (200 lbs) bomb, hidden at a footbridge in Ruso district of Narathiwat province, detonated as a local police patrol passed on a pick-up truck, killing the officers and destroying the vehicle.
Confirming the deaths, southern regional army spokesman Colonel Pramote Promin said the attack may have been carried out by rebels opposed to the opening of talks, which are set to be held in Malaysia on March 28.
The Thai government has agreed to hold talks with Barisan Revolusi Nasional, which is part of a web of shadowy insurgent groups in the south.
A stubborn insurgency seeking greater autonomy has raged across several provinces in the south of Thailand bordering Malaysia for nine years – with near-daily shootings and bombings.