On late Tuesday evening, there were two bombings at the Southern Hotel in the resort area of Pattani. Reuters reported the first bomb detonated behind the hotel which resulted in no injuries and the second bomb detonated near the hotel entrance, killing one and wounding thirty. These two bombings are close to the thirteen other bombings that hit southern Thailand on August 10-12, during the Queen’s birthday celebration.
All of the bombings have targeted popular resort locations. Thailand is a popular tourist destination which contributes at least 10% of the economy according to the Guardian. The percentage could have even been higher if not for the instability of the military-led government in the recent years. Tourism will likely suffer if the attacks are not stopped. So far, none of the insurgent groups have claimed responsibility for these two bombings or the wave of attacks. The bombings are more than likely due to the recently approved referendum giving the military more power within the government. The Thai government does not see a connection between these two attacks and the previous attacks in mid-August.
Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan however quickly ruled out any link between those attacks and the twin bombs in Pattani.
“I am sure that the incident in Pattani last night has nothing to do with the seven provinces attacks,” Prawit told reporters at Bangkok’s Government House, without giving any further details.- Reuters
Two men were arrested shortly after the multiple explosions in mid-August but details on them have not been released. There has also been some discussion about resuming the peace talks with the Muslim insurgents on September 2, but with the recent attacks the peace talks may be postponed.
It was earlier reported that the government might send its official team to resume the peace talks with representatives of the Muslim insurgent groups on Sept 2. Gen Prawit said he personally thought.
Gen Prawit said he personally thought the peace talks should resume only after ongoing violence had eased, adding that he had told this to the 4th Army commander. – Bangkok Post
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