Chalee Boonsawat

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Chalee, a reporter with the country's biggest Thai-language daily, was killed while covering an explosion in restive southern Thailand, according to local and international news reports.

Chalee was killed by a car bomb that apparently targeted people arriving at the scene of a blast that occurred minutes earlier in the town of Sungai Kolok on the Malaysian border, according to local and international news reports. At least 30 people were injured in the second explosion, which occurred 20 minutes after a smaller motorcycle bombing that left no casualties, according to The Associated Press. The attacks, attributed to local insurgents in a region rife with separatist violence, occurred outside a restaurant near the local police station, news reports said.

A reporter with Channel 9, Phadung Wannalak, was seriously injured in the blast. A rescue worker also died of his wounds, the reports said.

Many in Thailand's predominantly Muslim southern provinces share an ethnicity and cultural heritage with neighboring Malays, unlike the country's Buddhist majority. A long-simmering separatist movement gained momentum in early 2004, leading to almost daily acts of violence, according to published reports.


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