The latest violence in southern Thailand occurred in Hat Yai’s commercial center last night. The bombs went off at two hotels, two pharmacies, a department store and a restaurant. It is reported that at least 13 people were injured. A few of the bombs were positioned on unattended motorcycles and set off using a timer or cell phone.
Recent attacks have demonstrated that the separatist is the Muslim-dominated south are seeking more attention, although the police chief of Songkhla province said the bombs may be the related to national politics. The southern violence has becoming increasingly organized and are occurring more frequently. The provinces under greatest threat of violence are the provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.
Hat Yai is a popular location for Malaysians, Singaporeans and Indonesians to spend their weekends and holidays. These bombings are expected to have a large effect on local tourism. The six bombs were positions in the area of Thammanoonwithi Road, which is a major area for tourists and night entertainment. A few of those killed and injured in the explosions were foreigners.
This bombing is reminiscent of the September 2006 bombings when six homemade bombs exploded in Hat Yai. In that incident, four people were killed including one Westerner. The police reports that these bombings are no where near as extensive as the September 2006 bombings.