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2 killed, 8 wounded in attacks in Thai Muslim south

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YALA, Thailand (Reuters) - Two policemen were shot dead at a polling station in Thailand’s Muslim south on Sunday, while a bomb blast wounded seven people in another part of the restive region, police said.

The two officers were killed when at least five gunmen opened fire during voting for a local election in Narathiwat, one of three southernmost provinces where at least 2,900 people have been killed in four years of separatist violence.

A local villager was also wounded in the attack, police said.

Separately, a bomb hidden in a rubbish bin exploded at a busy market in neighboring Yala province, wounding seven people, four of whom were police.

The bomb, weighing 3-5 kgs (6-11 lbs) destroyed the fronts of nearby houses, police said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks in the region, where most people speak a Malay dialect and where the government has stationed thousands of troops in a so far unsuccessful attempt to quell the unrest.

Reporting by Surapan Boonthanom; Writing by Ploy Chitsomboon; Editing by Martin Petty and Sanjeev Miglani