NARATHIWAT – Seventeen people were wounded in Thailand’s insurgency-ridden far south when insurgents launched a grenade attack on a karaoke bar and then detonated a bomb nearby, police said Sunday.

Two women were injured in the M-79 attack on the bar in Narathiwat town on Saturday night, which was followed 25 minutes later by a bomb blast in front of a massage parlour just 100 meters away, wounding 15 people.

Among those hurt by the explosion, which also badly damaged nearby buildings and cars, were two boys and a girl all aged about nine, police said. Four people were said to be wounded seriously.

Shadowy Islamic insurgents have waged a bloody campaign in Thailand’s southernmost region since early 2004, leaving more than 4,400 people dead, including both Muslims and Buddhists, in near-daily attacks.

Violence appears to have intensified recently: a bomb attack in Yala province killed nine villagers last month and an unusually bold attack by militants a week earlier on a military base left at least four soldiers dead.

Last Sunday a car bomb exploded injuring 18 people, including four soldiers, in Yala – the main city in one of three provinces near the Malaysian border that have been under emergency rule since 2005.

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