Thailand police hunt suspects after bombings
Authorities in Thailand are searching for a network of suspects after
a coordinated series of bomb attacks targeting beach towns and resorts
left four people dead and 34 injured, in some of the country’s worst
violence in years.
Ten foreign tourists were among the injured, and foreign embassies
have warned visitors to Thailand to be vigilant.
Most of the casualties were in Hua Hin, where bombs hidden in plant
pots in the resort town’s main nightlife district were remotely
detonated on Thursday evening. Two more devices exploded by a clock
tower on Friday morning.
“I heard a very loud bang and I thought an electric transformer
exploded,” said Pimpetch Manprasong, who was picking up her boyfriend
when the first Hua Hin bomb went off. “Within seconds, there were many
foreigners running around. They almost hit my car. I had to avoid them.
“Police were chasing people out of the area. Some people were yelling
‘It’s a bomb … run, run … bomb … run quick!’ When I stopped my car, I
saw people lying on the ground.”
A member of a local rescue team described the situation as chaotic
and confusing. “The second explosion occurred around 30 minutes after
the first one,” Passakorn Phuekthong said. “People were crying and
There has been no claim of responsibility for the attacks, which
occurred over a 24-hour period, but authorities said they had detained
In a statement the foreign ministry said it was treating the attacks
as “an act of stirring up public disturbance” rather than terror. It did
not provide further details.
The south-east Asian nation has long suffered an ongoing low-level
insurgency in the deep south. But strikes on tourist hotspots further
north will affect the country’s vital tourism industry – and with it,
the credibility of Thailand’s military rulers, who overthrew the
previous administration in a coup two years ago.
“The royal Thai government expresses its profound regrets for the
incidents,” the foreign ministry said in its statement.
Junta chief and prime minister, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, won a
country-wide referendum last week that extends military power even if a
democratic government is reinstalled. He said the bombs constituted an
attempt to create chaos and confusion.