updated 8/26/2004 1:19:10 AM ET 2004-08-26T05:19:10

A powerful bomb exploded at a busy morning market in Thailand’s troubled Muslim south Thursday, killing one person and wounding at least 25 others, including soldiers, police and schoolchildren who were marching in a parade, officials said.

The blast in Narathiwat province occurred as Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was touring the region, which has been wracked by violence in recent months that officials have blamed mostly on Islamic militants. He was in Trang province, about 150 miles to the west, when the bomb went off.

The device hidden in a motorcycle blew up at a market where police and soldiers often stop for breakfast in the Sukhirin district, said police Lt. Col. Amnuay Pongsawat. Police believe the bomb was triggered by remote control when a truck carrying security officials arrived.

A 45-year-old man, Hatachai Boon-In, died after being wounded in the explosion and taken to a hospital in nearby Sungai Kolok district. Six other people were in critical condition.

The other victims included four soldiers, six police and seven elementary school students who were marching in a parade before joining games at a nearby sports arena. At least eight bystanders also were wounded.

“The student parade happened to come close to the area where the bomb exploded,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

Thailand is predominantly Buddhist, and Muslims in the southern provinces near Malaysia have long complained about unfair treatment by the government. A spate of violent attacks in the provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani has killed more than 330 people since January.

Thursday’s attack came as a once-formidable Thai separatist group, the Pattani United Liberation Organization, posted a message on its Web site warning southern Muslims against frequenting nightclubs, police checkpoints, airports, railways and areas where important Thai officials may travel.

The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately verified.

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