A Thai soldier patrols on an armored vehicle near a Buddhist temple in Yala Province. Pic: AP.

HAT YAI, Thailand (AP) — Police say four people, including a Buddhist monk and a boy, were killed and six others were injured in an attack in Thailand’s violence-plagued south.

Police Col. Sathit Polpinit said Thursday that four gunmen opened fire at a group of villagers giving alms to a Buddhist monk in Mae Lan district in Pattani province.

He said a 68-year-old monk, one woman and her 13-year-old son, and another woman were killed in the Thursday morning attack.

Sathit said six others, including a police officer in a squad protecting the monk, were wounded.

It is the second time in three weeks a Buddhist has been shot dead by suspected insurgents.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in Thailand’s Muslim-dominated southern border provinces since an Islamic insurgency erupted in 2004.