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Thai PM visits violence-torn south after deadly attacks

Published on Dec 13, 2012 6:11 PM
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (centre) walks on her way to a meeting with teachers during her visit to Pattani, in Thailand's restive south on Dec13, 2012. More than 50 children have been killed and some 340 injured in the provinces bordering Malaysia since 2004, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). -- PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra went to the south of Thailand on Thursday after attacks blamed on Muslim insurgents this week in which six people were killed, including an 11-month-old child and two teachers, who are increasingly seen as targets.

More than 5,000 people have been killed since 2004 in the low-level insurgency in three Muslim majority provinces in the predominantly Buddhist country.

Five teachers have been killed in the past six weeks - the militants see schools as a main element in state attempts to assimilate ethnic Malay Muslims - and Ms Yingluck held meetings with teachers as well as security officials during her visit.

"Whatever happens, children need to have a safe place to learn. I thank teachers for having the courage to teach and I will ask for reinforcements and extra troops to ensure their security," she told reporters.

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