PETALING JAYA - Two bombs rocked Haadyai, a favourite destination for Malaysians tourists to Thailand, leaving at least 10 people injured and destroying many cars. No Malaysians were hurt.
One bomb went off at about 1.45pm in front of a 7-Eleven convenience store on Ponpichai Road and a second near the police flats opposite the Haadyai police station 10 minutes later.
Another bomb was found near the entrance to apartments inside Prince of Songkhla Hospital and was safely disarmed by authorities.
It is believed two other bombs were also set off and there was talk that more were likely to be detonated later, although police would not confirm the matter.
The first bomb at 1:45pm local time (2:45pm Malaysian time) was a device planted on a motorcycle outside the convenience store opposite a technology college.
It left seven people injured and damaged five other motorcycles.
Less than 10 minutes later, the second bomb went off in the parking lot outside the local police station less than 2km away, wounding three people, including two policemen standing in the compound.
The explosion also sparked off a series of blasts from nearby gas tanks and set cars on fire.
Haadyai police chief Pol Col Passakorn Klanwan said two of the wounded were police while the rest were civilianss.
"At least 35 vehicles were damaged by the explosions," he said.
Firefighters could be seen on television battling the blaze with billowing dark smoke visible from miles away. Debris, including the wreckage of burnt cars, could be seen littering the roads near the bomb sites.
The wounded were taken to the Haadyai Hospital, where six were given outpatient treatment.
Four were kept overnight for observation but hospital officials said they were not in danger.
Haadyai, which is a two-hour drive from Malaysia's northern border, is popular with Malaysian and Singaporean tourists, mostly shoppers hunting for bargains.
A car bomb at the parking basement of a hotel in 2012 killed three people, including two Malaysians, and wounded hundreds.
Four Malaysians were also among five people killed and over 90 people injured when three bombs exploded near the Merlin and Parkson hotels in Golok in 2010.
During Christmas season last year, the Thai border towns of Danok, Padang Besar and Sadao were also rocked by bombings, leaving a horrifying trail of mangled metal and burning vehicles.