BANGKOK - Attackers set fire to shops, cars and utility poles in at least 40 locations across Thailand's deep south in the early hours of Friday, authorities said, killing at least one person in a coordinated wave of arson.

The attacks occurred at around 1:00 am across four southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla.

The area along the border with Malaysia has seen a decades-long, slow-burn insurgency, in which the Thai government battled groups seeking independence for the predominantly Muslim and ethnically Malay southern provinces.

The one person reported killed on Friday was a female migrant worker from Myanmar, killed by an explosion, Thai authorities said.

"The perpetrators want to disrupt the peace during Ramadan," Colonel Eakvarit Chobchoophol, a spokesman for the military's Internal Security Operation Command for the southern region told Reuters. "They are attacking the local economy and targeting utilities."

Eakvarit said that the perpetrators drove employees out of convenience stores by first firing guns into the air, before setting the buildings ablaze.

As with most attacks in Thailand's deep south, there was no public claim of responsibility.

Last month the Thai government resumed peace talks with an insurgent group, aimed at establishing a road-map to peace after a halt due to a change of Thai government following a general election last May.

Thailand's deep south was part of an independent Malay sultanate, Patani, before being annexed by Thailand in 1909 as part of a treaty with Britain.

The most recent phase of conflict erupted in 2004, and more than 7,300 people have been killed since then, according to Deep South Watch, a group that monitors the violence.