A series coordinated blasts have hit popular tourist spots in Thailand, killing four people and injuring several others. A total of 11 explosions rocked the country’s five provinces in less than 24 hours. The attacks come just days after the country voted to accept a military-backed Constitution.
Two bombs went off in the popular coastal resort of Hua Hin. The bombs exploded near the clock tower, a city landmark, killing one and injuring three.
“The bombs went off while we were working on site, they were not very far from each other,” said Police Lieutenant Colonel Samoer Yoosumran.
Around 200 meters away, two more bombs exploded late on Thursday night as foreign tourists were leaving local bars to go back to their hotels, Yoosumran said.
The police said at least 11 people, mostly foreign tourists, were injured and a woman who had a food vending cart in front of a bar was killed.
The Hua Hin is a popular coastal resort, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of the Thai capital, Bangkok. The city is home to many international hotel chains, including the Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt.
It’s also home to the Klai Kangwon Palace, the seaside residence of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The palace is located less than about 2 kilometers from the bombing site.
Two more persons were killed in three blasts in Surat Thani and Trang area.
There were also reports of bomb explosions in the popular resort town of Phuket. The blast at Patong beach is said to have injured a few but no fatalities were reported.
Thailand has been hit by eight bomb blasts in the last 24 hours. The blasts took place on a day the country celebrates the birthday of Queen Sirikit, a day also observed as Mother’s Day.
This is the first time that popular tourist spots like Hua Hin and Phuket have been targetted.
Thailand’s junta chief said the bombings were an attempt to trigger unrest in a country blighted by a decade-long political crisis.
“The bombs are an attempt to create chaos and confusion,” junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha told reporters.
“Why have the bombs occurred as our country is heading towards stability, a better economy and tourism — and who did it? You have to find out,” he said.
Post the attacks, the security in the country, especially tourists spots centres has been stepped up.
“The PM has issued emergency orders to the relevant agencies in the areas to prevent other bombing incident from happening again, increase the security in the crowd areas, and appoint those who responsible to handle the situation on the emergency event,” Government Spokesman Maj-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.
Sansern also vowed that those behind the attacks will be brought to justice.
(With inputs from agencies)