MAYO, Thailand, July 28 (UPI) -- Four soldiers were killed and two others were injured in a drive-by shooting in Thailand's volatile southern Pattani province Saturday morning, officials said.
The six soldiers were patrolling a road in Pattani's Mayo district when gunmen on three pickup trucks opened fire at them, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.
"About 20 armed militants on three pickup trucks opened fire at the team of soldiers once they got close to them," said Col. Pramote Prom-in, a southern army spokesman.
The soldiers returned fire and the gunmen fled the scene, officials said.
Four soldiers died at the scene, while two seriously injured soldiers were taken to a local hospital, the Bangkok Post reported.
Since the start of Ramadan on July 20, 19 people, including nine civilians, have been killed, Fourth Army Regional Commander Lt. Gen. Udonchai Thanmasararot said.
Police blamed separatist militants for Saturday's attack.
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