Thai Police say they know who is behind tourist town bombings
August 15, 2016
A series of bombing and arson attacks in southern Thailand that killed four people and wounded dozens was orchestrated by a single person, Thai police said on Sunday, while a man has been arrested in relation to one of the attacks.
Blasts on Thursday and Friday targeted some of Thailand’s best-known tourist resorts, just days after Thais voted to accept a military-backed constitution that paves the way for an election at the end of 2017.
Subsequently, Thai police discovered unexploded bombs in three top tourist destinations as they searched for clues. Devices were found and defused on Sunday in two bomb-hit areas – the upscale beach town of Hua Hin and the popular island of Phuket, according to the interior ministry permanent secretary.
Police said other unexploded devices were found on Saturday in Phang Nga province.
“These acts were undertaken by a group in many areas simultaneously, following orders from one individual,” Pongsapat Pongcharoen, a deputy national police chief, told reporters.
Thailand’s deputy police spokesman Piyapan Pingmuang was more direct: “We know who was behind it”.
They gave no further details on who police believe was responsible for the attacks and no group has claimed them.
Analysts say suspicion would inevitably on fall on enemies of the ruling junta aggrieved by the referendum results, or insurgents from Muslim-majority provinces in the south of the mostly Buddhist country.
Thai tourist towns subdued as authorities hunt for bombers
Bombs went off on Thursday and Friday in the upscale resort of Hua Hin and beach destinations in the south including Phuket, Phang Nga and Surat Thani, a city that is the gateway to popular islands in the Gulf of Thailand.
The wave of attacks came as tourists flocked to the beaches at the start of a public holiday. Several attacks used incendiary devices that hit shops and markets in southern Thai provinces.
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