At least four dead in multiple Thailand bombings


A Thai member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) wearing a bomb suit walks after defusing a suspicious object after two bombs exploded at the clock tower site in the center of Hua Hin city, Thailand, Aug. 12, 2016.(Photo: RUNGROJ YONGRIT, EPA)

(SOURCE)   At least four people were killed and dozens wounded when a series of bombs went off in areas popular with tourists across Thailand over the last 24 hours, according to media reports.

At least four of the blasts occurred in the beach resort of Hua Hin, about 120 miles southwest of the capital Bangkok, on Thursday and Friday. A street vendor was killed and about 20 people wounded, some of them tourists from Britain, Germany, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands, in two of the bombings Thursday, officials said.

Police chief Pol Col Sutthichai Srisopacharoenrat told the Bangkok Post that the dead woman was selling food in front of a bar when the explosion happened Thursday.

Two more bombs went off in Hua Hin on Friday morning, killing one person and wounding four, the Associated Press reported.

Other bombs also went off in Patong Beach in the southern resort of Phuket and in the southern provinces of Trang —  killing one person Thursday; Surat Thani — where one person died Friday morning; and Phang Nga.

Several explosions went off in Phuket on Friday, the BBC reported.

Police said it was too early to say who was responsible for the attacks, but ruled out international terrorism, the AP reported.

Friday is a national holiday in Thailand to celebrate Queen Sirikit’s birthday. Separatist insurgents are likely to be suspected of carrying out the attacks, the BBC reported.

The bombings came soon before the one-year-anniversary of a bombing on Aug. 17 last year at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok that killed 20 people, most of them tourists from other Asian countries.Two Uighur Muslims from China were arrested and have appeared in court in connection with the attack.

That incident caused a temporary drop in tourism, a major source of income for Thailand.

“This ruins business. Hotels, restaurants, tours, we were already suffering, but this, it’s going to ruin our lives,” Natsupa Dechapanya, a tour guide in Hua Hin, told the AP after the latest bombings.

“These acts of violence show utter contempt for human rights,” said Champa Patel, a senior adviser for Amnesty International, in a statement Friday.

“Those behind the attacks must be brought to justice through fair trials,” Patel added. “Amnesty International calls on Thai authorities to ensure their response is in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law.”