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Thai Dung Collectors Die in Blast

April 5, 1998

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Five villagers gathering bat dung in a mountain cave were killed in a grenade attack, apparently carried out by a rival group, local newspapers said Sunday.

The explosive was hurled at the gatherers on Saturday as they emerged with seven sacks of valuable dung retrieved from the cave, located in a rugged area about 100 miles northeast of the capital, the Bangkok Post said. Two villagers were also wounded.

Police were quoted as saying they believe rival dung gatherers may have been behind the attack. Violent conflicts over timber, land, precious stones and other valuable resources have become a common occurrence in rural Thailand.

Bat dung is highly sought-after in Thailand for use in producing organic fertilizer.

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