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Seven people have been killed in four separate shooting incidents in Thailand's troubled southern states, police said Saturday.

In a drive-by shooting early Saturday, witnesses said at least five militants in a pick-up truck opened fire on a tea shop in Yala province's Raman district, killing four villagers and wounding four others.

Nearby, in the Bannang Sata district of Yala, a 56-year-old Thai Buddhist man was shot dead and beheaded before his body was set on fire Friday, while his 28-year-old son was seriously wounded.

A 41-year-old Thai Muslim man was shot dead in his pick-up truck in a drive-by shooting in the same area shortly afterwards.

In the neighbouring province of Pattani, a 56-year-old retired teacher was shot dead Friday evening in the Meung district after leaving a mosque.

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