Two blasts rock Hat Yai, wounding 10 people

Two blasts rock Hat Yai, wounding 10 people

Two large bomb attacks were carried out yesterday in Hat Yai business district of Songkhla province, wounding 10 people and causing large fires and heavy property damage.

Initially it was reported that about five simultaneous bomb attacks had taken place after the first went off at 1.45pm, but later police and provincial authorities confirmed that there were just two.

Hat Yai police chief Pol Colonel Phassakorn Klanwan said multiple explosions of gas cylinders in a car, to which one of the bombs was attached, misled people into believing there were several simultaneous bomb attacks.

However, the first blast was a motorcycle-bomb planted at a convenience store on Phol Phichai Road across from Chunkgolpaktai Technological College, which wounded six, Phassakorn said.

Nobody seriously injured

The second bomb, which went off 10 minutes later, was planted underneath a confiscated car parked near the construction site of police flats inside the Hat Yai police station complex, he said. None of the 10 victims, including two policemen, were seriously wounded, provincial governor Krissada Bunraj said.

Phassakorn added that security camera footage would be used to identify who planted the bombs and when they were planted. Police bomb disposal personnel will release details about the type of bombs used.

Fires blazed at the two bomb sites for about an hour before they were extinguished and left many vehicles parked nearby heavily damaged.

A high-ranking security source said later that those behind the bomb attacks were the same group reported to have stolen vehicles - a motorcycle in Yala and a pick-up truck in Pattani.

They allegedly arrived in Hat Yai in the morning, and left after the bombs went off.

The source admitted that security had been lax, and exploited by the attackers.

Meanwhile, national police chief Pol General Adul Saengsingkaew has instructed local police units to be stationed at key locations to safeguard them, while Explosives Ordnance Disposal units were inspecting the sites and determining the sizes and types of both bombs.

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