Five people were killed and nine wounded in several attacks by rebels on the weekend in southern Thailand, where violence surrounding the activities of an Islamist separatist movement has taken more than 5,300 lives in the past eight years, local media reported Sunday.

A car bomb exploded next to the police station in Rey Soh on Saturday, in Narathiwat province, killing three people and wounding six, police said.

Almost simultaneously, another bomb detonated near the Ban Yaba school, wounding two people.

One man was shot to death and his wife was wounded in the neighboring province of Pattani when two unknown gunmen opened fire on them while they were riding a motorcycle along a street in the town of Ban Duwa.

A worker on a rubber plantation in Narathiwat was also killed by rebels on Saturday morning.

Six other people, including a child, have been killed in this conflict in southern Thailand since the beginning of last week.

Some 40,000 Thai soldiers have been deployed in the provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala in the face of the ongoing violence by the Islamist separatist movement, which renewed its armed conflict in January 2004.

The insurgents claim they are discriminated against by the country's Buddhist majority and are demanding the creation of an Islamist state made up of the three abovementioned provinces, which comprised the ancient sultanate of Pattani that Thailand annexed a century ago. EFE