BANGKOK, March 18 (Xinhua) -- One Thai soldier was killed and two others injured in clashes between a government patrol and a militant rebel group in Thailand's southern province of Pattani on Wednesday.
The patrol was part of a combined government force operating in the area to force insurgents still in hiding to surrender, said the Thai Army's Internal Security Operation Command (ISOC) Region 4.
"The Wednesday incident was a retaliation to Tuesday's clash where three insurgents were killed in an exchange of fire with a government force near Pattani dam. That operation began on March 12 after one soldier was killed in a clash," said Colonel Vacharakorn Onn-gern, ISOC's deputy spokesman.
Thailand's deep southern provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, have been the site of up to 7,000 deaths over the past 20-year period, as a local insurgency rages over long-simmering border and religious issues.