A decade-old separatist insurgency in predominantly Buddhist Thailand's largely ethnic Malay-Muslim provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat has killed almost 7,000 people since 2004, says Deep South Watch, a group that monitors the violence. Despite the high death toll, the highly localised unrest garners few global headlines.
The late-night attack targeted a security checkpoint in southern Yala province.
Four of the officers who were killed were women and one was a doctor. They have reported that the extremists brought with them M-16 rifles and shotguns. "These acts were by militants". An unknown number of assailants then used explosives and scattered nails on roads to slow down a response from security forces.
Members of a bomb squad inspect the site of an attack in Yala province on November 6, 2019. The southern army commander told reporters that the attackers were targeting "weak points".
They merely meant to draw attention and scare the people nationwide, the Fourth Army commander commented.
Police, teachers and other government representatives are often targets of the violence. The violence has bled into tourist destinations, like in 2012 when a series of auto bombs in Songkhla province's Hat Yai killed 13 people. Pramot said that there could be a conspiracy of the rebels behind this attack.
For the last five decades, Muslim rebels have been demanding a separate country for themselves.
Suspects are routinely taken for interrogation and held under emergency laws in detention centres where rights groups have documented torture.