HAT YAI, Thailand (AP) — Gunmen presumed to be Muslim insurgents stormed a Buddhist temple in southern Thailand, killing two monks and wounding two others, police said Saturday.
The Friday night attack in Narathiwat province was the latest in a recent upsurge of violence in the area, which since 2004 has been plagued by a separatist insurgency that has claimed about 7,000 lives. Narathiwat is one of Thailand’s three southernmost provinces, the only ones with Muslim majorities in the Buddhist-dominated country.
Witnesses described seeing armed men arrive at the temple on motorcycles, open fire with automatic weapons and then storm inside where they shot the monks in their quarters, according to Thai news report. One of those killed was the temple’s abbot.