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Bombs Explode Across Thailand in Allegedly Coordinated Attacks

Nine IEDs have been detonated across Thailand, killing at least four people.

by VICE Staff
12 August 2016, 12:00am

Reports are emerging of more bomb blasts across Thailand, striking Phuket, Surat Thani, and Trang. One person has allegedly been killed in Trang and another woman, a municipal worker, was killed in Surat Thani when a bomb that was hidden in a flower bed exploded in front of the marine police's office.

"I think it's related to the blasts in Hua Hin," provincial governor Wongsiri Promchana told the AFP, referring to the popular beachside resort where two bombs exploded last night. The bombs, hidden in potted plants, killed one local woman and injured 20 others, including foreigners.

Infographic from AFP via Twitter.

Early this morning (Thai time) Hua Hin was rocked by two more blasts near the town's clock tower. Police say one person was killed and three more injured.

Summary of the blasts across Thailand as of 2:02 PM (AEST). Image via Zachary Abuza on Twitter.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts but Thailand's junta chief Prayut Chan-o-cha told reporters in Bangkok these were attacks by separatist groups attempting to trigger unrest.

"The bombs are an attempt to create chaos and confusion," he said.

According to police, the blasts started Thursday night (Thai time) when two bombs went off outside bars near the main intersection of Hua Hin. The first exploded around 10 PM (Thai time) with no casualties. The second bomb detonated 20 minutes later just 50 meters away, badly injuring a Thai woman running a som tam food stall. She later died from her injuries in hospital.

Hua Hin is about three hours south of Bangkok. Screenshot via Google Maps.

Injured tourist in Hua Hin. Image via Twitter.

Eight foreigners and one other Thai person were injured in the blast, local deputy police chief Samer Yousamran said. So far, it appears there are no Australians among those hurt; however, reports suggests two Britons are being treated for injuries.

The Thai hospital where the blast victims are being treated. Image via Twitter.

While early local reports suggested the bombs were in motorbikes, it has been confirmed both bombs were hidden in pot plants, and were detonated by mobile phone. Expat Edwin Wiek, who was in Hua Hin during the blasts, found pieces of a destroyed phone near the bomb site.

Image via Twitter.

Image via Twitter.

Currently, those injured in the blasts are being treated at the nearby San Paolo hospital. Police are investigating the motive or the identity of the bombers. Samer Yousamran told reporters that police are still investigating and haven't identified who set off the bombs or why.

Some are speculating the timing of the attacks, the day before Queen Sirikit's birthday, may be an attempt to "embarrass the military government that took power two years ago."

The day before the bombings junta chief and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha made a speech boasting his government's success in bringing stability back to Thailand, and defending to country's monarchy. Thailand's 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, frequently holidays in Hua Hin.

However, there were warnings back in April 2016 of planned attacks on Thailand by foreign militants. Leaked intelligence from Thai authorities reported two ethnic Uighur men from Turkey, who entered Thailand on March 23, "may stage attacks on Chinese and targets and interests in southeast Asia."

More as this story develops.

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