A series of explosions erupted in three of the most popular tourist resorts in Thailand last night, killing at least four people and wounding dozens, reports the BBC.
Four bombs exploded in Hua Hin, where the victims were two. One person was killed after two blasts in Surat Thani, there were two attacks in Patong on the resort island of Phuket. One man became a victim of an attack in the city of Trang, there were two explosions in the province of Phang Nga.
Except for Trang city, these destinations are popular among tourists for their beautiful beaches. Authorities ruled out international terrorism and said it is not known whether the attacks are linked to rebel movements in the south of the country populated mostly by Muslims.
“This is not a terrorist attack. It is just local sabotage that is restricted to limited areas and provinces,” said deputy spokesman of the police Piyapan Pingmuang at a press conference in Bangkok.
The head of the Thai military junta condemned the attacks and said that they aim to create chaos, reported news agency “AFP.” General Prayuth Chan-ocha has been in power since 2014 when he received the power through a coup.
Prime Minister Chan-ocha ordered to be adopted all necessary measures to prevent new explosions. Additional police patrols will be sent wherever there are tourists, tourist police said, adding that they will work around the clock.
Last week, Thais approved a new constitution that will strengthen the power of the military. Although the conflict between the Islamists in the three southern Muslim provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat and the government in Bangkok was hardened after 2001, since the military took power in 2014, the attacks have become less frequent.
According to the correspondent of BBC in Bangkok – Jonathan Head, if the attacks are work of rebels, that would be a serious change in their strategy. The conflict in southern Thailand continues for years and claimed the lives of over 6,000 people, but so far none of the warring parties was reaching tourists.
Head further indicates that the attack in Hua Hin is symbolic – the city is known as the favorite residence of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the blast broke on the birthday of Queen Sirikit.
Since 1932, Thailand is a constitutional monarchy the coup in 2014 was the twelfth in the country’s history. For the same period, the constitution has been amended 19 times.