BANGKOK (AP) - Thailand's government has launched the first Malay-language television channel geared toward the insurgency-plagued south's Muslim-majority audience.
Muslims in Thailand's southernmost Muslim-dominated provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat say they are treated as second-class citizens by predominantly Buddhist Thai authorities.
More than 5,000 people have been killed there since an Islamic insurgency flared in 2004. Some militants, mainly ethnic Malays, have called for a separate Muslim state.
Project supervisor Chamroon Den-udom said Thursday that the new channel would foster an understanding between Malay Muslims and Thai Buddhists in the region.
The "TV Malayu" satellite television station will initially offer a half-hour of news programming a day before broadcasting for 24 hours a day starting next year.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)