Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 14 August 2016





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Government Gazette

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 scared.”

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attacks, which occurred over a 24-hour period, but authorities said they had detained several people.

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.

- theguardian


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