Bangkok, Thailand (BBN) – At least 11 people were killed and 12 others injured when suspected militants opened fire with automatic weapons at a mosque in the country’s southern Cho-ai-rong district on Monday.

Five gunmen carrying assault rifles entered the Al Qulkon Mosque during evening prayers in the district of troubled Narathiwat province, police said.

Army spokesman Colonel Parinya Chaidilok reportedly confirmed that 10 people were killed instantly and another died on the way to the hospital, while the 12 wounded were all in critical condition.

On Sunday, two people were killed and 19 injured when insurgents attacked volunteer guards and detonated a car bomb in Jeringa district of the province, four days after two teachers, one of them in her eighth month of pregnancy, were shot dead in Chanae.

Over 3,500 people have died since January 2004 when separatist groups resumed their armed campaign to seek independence for the three Muslim-majority provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-09June09-12:16 pm (BST)