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PATTANI, Thailand (AP) - Officers say four marines have been killed when a homemade bomb exploded as they were inspecting it at a base in Thailand's insurgency-plagued south.
Capt. Somkiat Ponprayun says the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit believed they had defused the device, which was found Monday along a road in Bacho district in Narathiwat province.
He says officers also found a banner with a message against ongoing peace talks between the government and the insurgents.
Somkiat said the marines took the bomb to their base to study it, and it then exploded. He said it may have had a second triggering device.
Four marines were killed and six others were injured in the blast.
More than 5,000 people have been killed in Thailand's three southernmost provinces since an Islamist insurgency erupted in 2004.
The father of Aaron Ripperda says plans are being made to have the wake for his 26 year old son in Highland, Illinois. Kent Ripperda says a funeral Mass will be held at St. Paul's Catholic Church, but plans won't be finalized until there's word about when his son's body will be returned.
Ripperda was killed Monday during an explosion at the Hawthorne Army Depot. The 2005 Highland High School graduate was two months from ending his tour of duty with the Marines.
Meridith Funeral Home in Highland is handling arrangements.
The Marine Corps says seven Marines were killed during live fire training at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. It's part of the Joint Munitions Command. There is ammunition stored and disposed of there but the Marines say the incident happened during a mortar firing exercise late Monday night.
Besides the seven Marines killed several others with the 2nd Marine Division were injured. The cause is under investigation.