HAT YAI, Thailand — Seven soldiers were killed Saturday in a roadside bomb attack in Thailand's insurgency-plagued south, police said.

Police. Col. Metha Singhasena said a group of suspected insurgents detonated the bomb on a rural road in Krong Pinang district in Yala province as military vehicles passed by.

He said 10 soldiers were traveling on a multi-purpose truck and an armored personnel vehicle after finishing a patrol early Saturday.

Metha said the improvised bomb hidden under the road surface destroyed the truck and killed seven soldiers. Two officers were wounded and one was missing, while a villager was injured in the attack.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in Buddhist-dominated Thailand's three southernmost, Muslim-majority provinces since an Islamic insurgency erupted in 2004.

Attacks occur almost daily despite the government's ongoing efforts to engage in talks with the Muslim militants. Earlier this month, the Thai government and Muslim separatist negotiators said they hoped to curb violence in the region during the upcoming Muslim fasting month.