Sunday 4 December 2016

Four dead as Thailand hit by wave of bombings

James Rothwell

Published 13/08/2016 | 02:30

An injured woman receives first aid after two bombs exploded in the seaside resort of Hua Hin in Thailand. Photo: Reuters
An injured woman receives first aid after two bombs exploded in the seaside resort of Hua Hin in Thailand. Photo: Reuters

A wave of co-ordinated explosions rattled cities across southern Thailand, killing at least four people and wounding dozens more. Among the injured were 11 foreigners in the seaside resort town of Hua Hin.

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It was not clear who was behind the attacks, but police said the violence was not linked to Islamic terrorism.

The timing and scope suggested the bombs were set off by opponents of the nation's ruling junta, which last weekend organised a successful referendum on a constitution that critics say will bolster the military's power for years to come.

Yesterday was also a public holiday in Thailand to mark Queen Sirikit's birthday.

Police said four of the injured tourists were from Germany, two from Italy and one from Austria. The Netherlands said four of its citizens were also wounded. Australia reacted to the news by advising its nationals to avoid public places.

The explosions all occurred south of Bangkok and several of the blasts, including one on Patong beach in the tourist resort of Phuket, appeared designed to hit the tourism industry.

The first two explosions occurred overnight on Thursday on a busy street in the tourist city of Hua Hin, which was hit again by another blast yesterday morning. The city is home to a swathe of beachfront resorts as well as a royal palace.

Thai police and media reported other blasts in the southern cities of Phuket, Trang and Surat Thani.

So far, nobody has claimed responsibility for the attacks, and officials have said they do not know who is behind them.

Small bombings are common in the three Muslim-majority southernmost provinces, where an insurgency has killed more than 6,500 people since 2004.

Irish Independent

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