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Jul 27, 11:51 PM EDT

Girls killed, hurt in attack in Thailand's south

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HAT YAI, Thailand (AP) -- A 12-year-old girl was killed and seven people, including two other girls, were wounded in a roadside bomb attack near an army base in Thailand's insurgency-plagued south, police said Monday.

Suspected insurgents detonated an improvised radio-controlled bomb near an army base in Pattani province's Sai Buri district, as a group of soldiers were finishing their guard duty at a mosque and returning to the base on Sunday night, police Col. Panya Karawanan said.

He said the explosion killed the 12-year-old and wounded two soldiers and five civilians, including a 7-year-old girl and her 1-year-old sister.

The attack came at the end of the Ramadan holy month, in which a spurt of attacks has occurred. It followed a major incident on Friday, in which a vehicle bomb exploded in a commercial district in Yala province, killing two people and wounding tens of other civilians.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in Thailand's three Muslim-dominated southernmost provinces since an Islamic insurgency erupted in 2004. The insurgents often target soldiers, police and civil servants such as teachers, but civilians, both Buddhist and Muslim, bear the brunt of the attacks.

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