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Jul 10, 9:53 PM EDT

Thai police: suspected insurgents kill 3 officers

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BANGKOK (AP) -- Suspected insurgents in Thailand shot dead three police officers in an ambush in the country's south, police said Friday.

A group of attackers opened fire late Thursday on a pickup truck carrying three police officers in Yala province's Krong Penang district, said police Col. Pairot Meunklaharn.

A local Muslim leader who was standing in front of a mosque near the ambush scene was also wounded in the attack, Pairot said.

The victims included a deputy district police commander and other two officers, he said.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in Thailand's three Muslim-dominated southernmost provinces since an Islamic insurgency erupted in 2004.

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