Prospects of peace negotiations in Thailand’s insurgency hit south took a nose dive on Saturday after eight soldiers were killed early on Saturday morning in a roadside bomb blast in the Yala province, the deadliest single attack on security forces this year.

The blast occurred when 10 soldiers were travelling in a truck in Krong Pinang district.

Police said suspected insurgents hiding in nearby plantations detonated the bomb buried in the road as the military vehicle passed by.

Eight soldiers were killed instantly and two others wounded. Two civilians riding on a motorcycle were also injured, Nation newspaper said.

There have been near daily assaults on security forces and civilians despite peace talks on June 14 in which the Thai government and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) agreed to work toward curbing violence over Ramadan.

The conflict monitoring group — Deep South Watch — said that so far this year, 240 people have been killed and nearly 460 wounded in about 800 separate attacks in the border provinces, the paper said.

The decade long insurgency in Buddhist majority Thailand’s three southern provinces has claimed more than 5,000 lives in sporadic attacks.

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