Bombs in a commercial centre in the South: perhaps politically motivated
Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) –Political infighting rather than Islamic separatism, could be behind the 7 coordinated bombs which exploded yesterday in Southern Thailand wounding at least 13 people. The theory has been put forward by a senior police official.
The incident occurred in Hat Yai, a commercial tourist’s centre in Songkhla province. Police report that some of the bombs were hidden in garbage bins, others attached to motorbikes. The bombs were detonated simultaneously near two hotels, two chemists, a shopping centre and a restaurant.
The majority Muslim South has long been marked by violence fuelled by Islamic separatists campaigning for independence from Bangkok along with local criminality, corruption and political in-fighting. Recent months have seen an upsurge in clashes. Local citizens point to the army’s inhuman behaviour and the discriminating conduct of the Buddhist majority.
Last September, six homemade bombs exploded in Hat Yai, killing four people. the police chief of Songkhla province, Major-General Paithoon Choochaiya, said “''The way they planted the bombs shows the attackers did not mean to kill people but merely wanted to create confusion; ''So far we cannot rule out that the attack was linked to insurgents in the three southern provinces, but it is mostly likely linked to a political motive”.