Nine-months pregnant woman shot dead by terror suspect
A woman who was nine-months pregnant has been shot dead in Thailand by a gunman suspected of being a Muslim insurgent, police said Sunday.
The gunman - who arrived by motorcycle - walked up to two women eating at a street stall on Saturday evening in Pattani province's Panarae district, shooting both before fleeing, said police chief, Captain Norawit Thongsod.
The pregnant woman was killed in the attack, while her wounded friend survived. Doctors performed a Caesarean operation on the woman but could not save the baby.
More than 6,000 people have been killed since a separatist insurgency flared in 2004 in Thailand's three southernmost provinces - the only ones with Muslim majorities in the predominantly Buddhist country.
Muslims in the area have long complained about being treated as second-class citizens, and have a decades-long history of sometimes violent resistance.
The insurgents are loyal to several groups whose main goals appear to be some form of political autonomy.
They are not generally seen as embracing the sort of extremism found among Islamists in parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, though concerns have been raised over whether the Islamic State group was winning followers among Thai Muslims.