Multiple bombings rock Thailand
THAILAND has tightened security after bomb attacks across the country killed four people and wounded many more, with authorities struggling to identify a motive and find the perpetrators.
Twin bombs exploded in the upmarket resort of Hua Hin late on Thursday, killing one woman and wounding more than 20 others.
They were followed by two more yesterday morning that killed another person.
A further two blasts struck yesterday in the popular tourist town of Phuket, while two more bombs were reported in the southern provinces of Trang and Surat Thani, in each of which one person was killed.
Last week, Thailand voted to accept a militarybacked constitution despite claims by opponents that it will entrench the military’s power and deepen divisions.
Speaking from Bangkok, journalist Pailin Wedel quoted a police spokesperson as saying there is currently no evidence of any link between the different blasts.
“They are also sticking to the line that they still do not have enough evidence that there are any links to outside terrorism, southern insurgency or anything that may be [tied] to the current political situation,” said Wedel.
Prayut Chan-o-Cha, the prime minister, called for calm and said that he did not know who was behind the attacks.
“The bombs are an attempt to create chaos and confusion,” he said in a conversation with reporters. “We should not make people panic more.”
“Why the bombs occurred as our country is heading towards stability, a better economy and tourism — and who did it — you have to find out for me.”
The two bombs that went off in Hua Hin on Thursday evening were hidden in potted plants and went off within 30 minutes of each other in the bar district of the popular beach town.
While small bombings are common in Thailand during periods of heightened political tension, there have been few such incidents in the past year and it is rare for touristic areas to be targeted.
Hua Hin is home to the summer palace of Thailand’s royal family and the blast came on the eve of Queen Sirikit’s 84th birthday and just before the first anniversary of a Bangkok shrine bombing that killed 20.
Authorities were searching for leads on the attackers and a motive behind the latest blasts.
According to staff at local hospitals, German, Italian, Dutch and Austrian nationals were among the wounded.
Thailand is expecting a record 32 million visitors in 2016, with the tourism industry a bright spot in an otherwise lacklustre economy.
The latest blasts came just days before the first anniversary of the last major attack on tourists in Thailand — an August 17 bomb that killed 20 people, mostly ethnic Chinese tourists.
The blast struck a crowded Hindu shrine in the heart of Bangkok and stunned the country as the deadliest assault in recent history. — Reuters —
The injured are helped after a bomb blast in the southern resort city of Hua Hin, 240km south of Bangkok, Thailand. Police are investigating a series of bomb blasts in Hua Hin and other cities in Thailand. Daily News