Asia Crisis

Buddhist teacher shot dead in Thai south

YALA, Thailand, June 28 (Reuters) - A female Buddhist teacher was shot dead by suspected insurgents in Thailand's restive Muslim south on Sunday, police said.

Two gunmen riding a motorcycle fled after killing the 38-year-old victim on a road in Narathiwat province.

In an incident in the south on Saturday a suspected insurgent and two security officers died in a gun battle in the neighbouring province of Yala.

Two other militants managed to get away, even though the house they escaped to was surrounded by 200 police and soldiers. [ID:nBKK457731]

The predominantly ethnic Malay, Muslim region was an independent sultanate known as Patani before it was annexed by Buddhist Thailand in 1909 as part of a treaty with Britain.

The 30,000 troops deployed to the region five years ago have failed to quell the violence, for which no credible group has claimed responsibility. [ID:nBKK426738]

A recent escalation in hostilities has killed 41 people and wounded 60 this month alone. (Reporting by Surapan Boonthanom; Writing by Kittipong Soonprasert; Editing by Alan Raybould and Jerry Norton)