BANGKOK, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- A group of militants raided a military base in Thailand's restive deep south, resulting in the death of at least 17 assailants, an army spokesman said Wednesday.
Southern army spokesman Colonel Pramote Promin said some 100 fully armed militants stormed the base in Bacho district of the Narathiwat province and at least 17 assailants were killed in the clashes, including a key local leader of the attackers.
No military casualties were reported. Pramote said the military had learned of the attack in advance from defected militants to foil the attack.
"We were able to secure the camp. All of our force are safe," he said.
The attack was one of the most ambitious in several years of violence in Thailand's deep south.
More than 5,000 people have been killed and more than 9,000 hurt in over 11,000 incidents in Thailand's three southern border provinces -- Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and four districts of Songkhla -- since violence erupted in January 2004.