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Tuesday June 27 6:42 AM ET

6 Hurt in Thailand Bomb Explosion

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - A bomb exploded near a Buddhist temple in central Thailand on Tuesday, injuring six ethnic Hmong people, three of them seriously, police said.

Police believe the explosion is related to a conflict between drug traffickers among the estimated 15,000 Hmong living near Tham Krabok temple in Saraburi province, 56 miles northeast of Bangkok.

A Hmong man found a Claymore explosive in front of his house, moved it to an unoccupied home and went to tell officials, police said. The bomb exploded, injuring passers-by, before police arrived.

Tham Krabok is home to Hmong who fled from Laos to neighboring Thailand in the 1970s and 1980s after a communist regime took power in their homeland at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

The Laotian government claims the temple is a sanctuary for Hmong anticommunist insurgents.

Thai police did not believe the explosion was linked to the unrest in Laos. Tham Krabok was once famed as a center for treating opium and heroin addicts but in recent years Thai police say it has become a center for drug trafficking.