Conflict & Justice

Thailand: Deadly bomb attacks hit southern province of Yala


Thai bomb squad members inspect the wreckage of a car at the scene of a car bomb blast in Thailand's southern restive province of Yala on March 31, 2012. Three bomb attacks killed seven people and wounded dozens more in this main town in Thailand's insurgency-hit far south, the military said.



Eleven people are dead and more than 100 injured, including foreign tourists, in three bomb attacks in Thailand's restive southern province of Yala on Saturday.

The Associated Press reported that Muslim insurgents were suspected to be behind the deadly attacks which happened before lunchtime. The first explosions came from a parked pickup truck, ripping through one of the main commercial hubs of Thailand's southern provinces.

The second car bomb went off about 20 minutes later as onlookers had gathered. Col. Pramote Promin, a deputy spokesman of a regional security agency, said, "This is the worst attack in the past few years. The suspected insurgents were targeting people's lives. They (chose) a bustling commercial area, so they wanted to harm people."

Military officials said dozens more people were wounded when the bombs – hidden in motorcycles and a car – went off 10 minutes apart, around midday.

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Yala governor Dethrat Simsiri said the bombs had been placed within a 100-meter radius in the municipality's commercial district, Al Jazeera reported. Shops, houses and many parked vehicles were also damaged.

Citing a Thai police source, AFP reported that a policeman was injured in a separate motorcycle attack in Mae Lan, in neighboring Pattani province.

Thailand's three southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, which border Malaysia, have a predominantly Muslim population – and have been hit by bomb and gun attacks since a separatist campaign was reignited in 2004, the BBC reported.

In 2011, the Thai army deployed 60,000 forces to the region, where most people in speak a Malay dialect. The rest of Thailand's Buddhist population speak Thai.

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Here is a video clip of the explosion. GlobalPost could not verify the source of this clip: