Thai police find pipe bomb rocket in southern insurgent zone

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Police in southern Thailand, where Muslim separatists are staging an insurgency, say they have found and disarmed a small improvised explosive rocket similar to ones discovered for the first time last month.

Police Col. Patta Madawa said the device, which looks like a pipe bomb with fins, fell Friday onto a house in Narathiwat province and was defused by demolition experts. Police later found a crude launcher nearby on a Muslim school's playing field.

Last month, the separatist Patani United Liberation Organization said it was targeting Thai army bases with rocket attacks after several similar devices were found by authorities.

More than 5,000 people have been killed since an insurgency erupted in 2004 in Thailand's three southernmost provinces, the only ones with Muslim majorities in the Buddhist-dominated country.