Eight soldiers were injured by a roadside bomb in Thailand’s southern province of Pattani on July 8, the police said.

The bomb, with an estimated weight of 30kg and hidden inside a gas holder, targeted a group of soldiers on a truck travelling to a local school to provide security for its teachers.

Since early 2004, thousands of people, including both soldiers and civilians, have been killed or injured in attacks by armed insurgents in Thailand’s southern border provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala.

With Malaysia acting as an intermediary, the Thai Government has conducted three rounds of peace talks with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), one of the separatist groups. However, little progress has been made.

National Security Council (NSC) Secretary General Paradorn Patanatabut, who is heading the peace dialogue, said on July 8 that his council has conveyed to BRN via Malaysia a proposal to reduce violence in southern provinces during Ramadan from July 9 to August 7.-VNA