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Bomb explosions in Southern Thailand kills 2, injures 27
Publication Date : 23-12-2013
The Thai border towns of Danok, Padang Besar and Sadao were rocked by pre-Christmas bombings, leaving a horrifying trail of mangled metal, burning vehicles and bloodied limbs and bodies.
Thousands of Malaysians and other tourists had gathered in the towns for shopping and Christmas partying but the series of bomb blasts left both Thais and the tourists jittery in an area where such violence has rarely been seen.
Two Malaysians were reported to be among scores of people injured in a bomb blast that rocked Danok, Padang Besar and Sadao between 11:30am and 1:40pm yesterday. Two Thais were also killed in the blasts.
Malaysian authorities moved quickly to tighten security along the border.
“People should not be worried but I advise those who have business in the area to just be wary,” said Malaysia's Deputy Inspector-General of Police Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin.
The first explosion occurred between 10:30am and 10:40am when a bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded in front of the Padang Besar police station on the Thai side of the border. Five motorcycles were damaged but no one was injured.
The second bomb exploded at about the same time. It was also placed on a motorcycle and went off in front of the Sadao police station. No one was injured.
The third and fourth explosions occurred at about 12:30pm. More than 20 people were injured.
The third bomb went off in front of the Oliver Hotel. It was placed in a car and activated with a digital watch. The explosions also resulted in a fire, which destroyed the business premises, several vehicles as well as a part of the hotel.
The fourth bomb was set off in front of a shop in Bukit Kayu Hitam on the Thai side of the border.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hamzah Zainudin said Malaysia's foreign affairs headquarters, Wisma Putra, was still trying to determine how many Malaysians had been injured. He was later quoted as saying no Malaysian was hurt although there were conflicting reports that even said three Malaysians were killed.
“For now, we advise Malaysians to postpone any travel plan to southern Thailand,” Hamzah said.
Thai Province Nine police chief Major-General Noppadol Pueksomon said two Thais had died in the Danok blast.
“The bombings were similar to the one in Haadyai at the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel on March 31 last year where three people, including two Malaysians, were killed,” he said.
Noppadol said they were investigating the motive behind the attack, including if Thai separatists were involved.
“We have since beefed up security in the four southern provinces to prevent a recurrence,” he added.
Malaysian deputy consul-general to Songkhla Mohd Rozaimi Harun confirmed that two Malaysians were injured in the blast in Danok.
“One of them is a woman, in her 50s, warded at the Padang Besar Hospital, while the second is a man.
“So far, there have been no reports of deaths involving Malaysians.”
Police said there had also been an attempt to explode a bomb in Phuket. However, the device was defused by the police.