Yala hit by more bomb explosions

Yala hit by more bomb explosions
Thai firefighters at the scene of an explosion in Yala, Thailand

The first explosion resulted in fire engulfing the Racha Furniture Shop.

Authorities suspect the other bomb at a tree pot shop at the Muang Mai Yala Market was planted at the same time as the bombs that were detonated on Thursday and was designed to create a continuous disturbance.

Yala municipality was hit by bomb attacks on Thursday and Friday, with simultaneous blasts at different locations wounding 20 people and causing heavy property damage.

Following the explosion and fire at the furniture shop at 7am yesterday, police and firefighters descended on the 10-chamber commercial building.

It took the firefighters, using 10 fire engines, almost an hour to bring the blaze under control but the three-chamber shop was destroyed.

Police believe the culprits might have planted a small bomb that was detonated by a cellphone's timer inside the shop.

Racha Furniture Shop was targeted by a car bomb last March, resulting in a fire that caused Bt20 million in damage.

Businesses want action

Following the 7.30am explosion at the tree pot shop, Yala police chief Maj-General Thanongsak Wangsupa said the blast might have been timed to go off several days after the explosive was planted.

He said it was likely the recent series of bombings occurred after an operation to plant all the explosives in one day. All these small bombs were set with timers, resulting in continuous disturbance.

He said that CCTV camera footage had captured images of the suspects but he couldn't give further details of the ongoing investigation.

Yala Chamber of Commerce chairman Chetchanat Limkanchana said most business operators were troubled by the recent bombings and he called on the government to speedily provide remedial measures so they could continue operating.

He said the chamber would host a meeting tomorrow wherein operators would express their opinions and suggestions for the state to implement measures, particularly with regard to beefing up security.

A source at the national security agency pointed out that prior to Thursday's bombings in Yala, insurgent groups had met in the area last Sunday.

National police chief General Somyot Poompunmuang said the Yala bombings were likely carried out to create disturbances and discredit the government and based on the method used in the attacks they might not be related to the deep South insurgency.

Security in neighbouring Narathiwat and Pattani has been beefed up and locals have been urged to be on the lookout for suspicious activities.

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