At least 40 people were injured today when a double bombing hit a town in Thailand’s insurgency-plagued south, police said, the latest suspected rebel attack to undermine stalled peace efforts. The Muslim-majority border region has seethed with
violence for over a decade as ethnic Malay insurgents battle the Buddhist-majority state for more autonomy.
The latest attack struck the town of Pattani around 2pm, with two bombs going off in quick succession outside a supermarket near the city centre. “The first bomb was small and no one was hurt but the second bomb was huge — I don’t know yet whether it’s a car
bomb or not,” Captain Preecha Prachumchai of Pattani provincial police told AFP.
“Currently around 40 people have been wounded: one is in serious condition,” he said. Pictures posted by rescue workers on Twitter showed a thick plume of black smoke over the supermarket car park and some damage to the store entrance. Near-daily shootings and bomb attacks have claimed more than 6,800 lives since 2004, with both sides accused of rights abuses and atrocities.
In August 2016, a series of apparently coordinated blasts across Thailand, including in the tourism hotspots of Hua Hin and Phuket, left at least four dead and dozens injured.
The blasts appeared to have been coordinated to target tourist hotspots around the country, and came just a few days before the first anniversary of a devastating bombing at a Hindu shrine in Bangkok in which 22 people died and more than 100 were wounded.