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Published on : Friday, August 12, 2016
Three cities of Thailand have been hit by at least eight explosions in a span of about 12 hours. Series of coordinated blasts took place at the major tourists’ hotspots of Thailand like Hua Hin and Phuket, killed at least four people and dozens other got injured. The attacks took place late on Thursday and into Friday morning with Thai police being put on alert for further explosive devices.
Two bombs were hidden in plant pots which exploded just before midnight on Thursday in a busy bar street. The blast killed a Thai street vendor in Hua Hin and left more than 19 people injured.
In Trang, a province in Thailand’s south, one man was killed and five others wounded when a device exploded close to the house of the provincial police chief.
Early on Friday, another two blasts occurred in Hua Hin, which lies about 200km (120 miles) south of Bangkok with one reported fatality. Further south on Phuket island, a blast was reported on Patong beach, a resort area on the west coast popular with foreign tourists. There were further reports of explosions in Surat Thani, where one person was killed, and a number of blasts in Phang Nga.
Deputy Police Spokesman Maj. Gen. Piyapan Pingmuang said that there is still no evidence that the series of bombings are related to international terrorism. It seems more like local sabotage on certain locations and provinces and are much different from the usual terrorism acts. He also added that the blasts are not linked to the bomb attack at the Erawan Shrine in the capital, Bangkok, last year.
The Thai authorities said that attack was motivated by a criminal gang angered by a police crackdown on their people smuggling operations. The blast was never formally claimed by any group. The blasts are seemingly coordinated to target tourist hotspots around the country as it took place just a few days before the first anniversary of the devastating bombing at a Hindu shrine in Bangkok that killed 22 people and wounded more than 100.
The Thai prime minister and leader of the military junta, Prayut Chan-o-cha, has ordered security to be increased across urban areas and areas popular with tourists but also called for calm.
Hundreds of European retirees have made Hua Hin their home, enjoying the wide sandy beach as a younger generation of kite surfers exploit the onshore winds.
according to the travel experts, the bombings will dent arrivals of visitors this summer. Tourism accounts for 10% of the country’s gross domestic product.