A heavy troop presence is the norm in Thailand's troubled South Five soldiers have been killed in a roadside bomb in Thailand's southern province of Narathiwat, scene of a long-running insurgency. The paramilitary troops were on a night patrol when the explosion threw their pick-up truck about 10 metres. Insurgents then opened fire on the troops, killing five and taking several weapons. Fighting in the south has killed at least 4,000 people in the past six years. Variously described as a separatist or Muslim insurgency, the fighting kills people almost every day. Shadowy anti-government groups target government offices and personnel in three provinces .They once formed part of a Malay Muslim sultanate annexed by largely Buddhist Thailand The violence comes at a difficult time for the Bangkok government, which faced questions in parliament on Thursday about military budgets. Legislators from the parliamentary committee on military affairs, led by the opposition, asked why troops stationed in Bangkok under emergency laws to support the government are paid twice as much in daily allowances than their colleagues in the far more dangerous south. The government is considering whether to renew a state of emergency imposed on Bangkok and much of the country during the red-shirt protests of April and May. The costs incurred by the government's Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situations (CRES) which oversaw military efforts to quell the protests remain unclear.