At least one person has been killed and approximately 19 injured by twin bomb blasts in central Hua Hin on Thursday night. The blasts took place close to Soi Bintabaht, an area popular with overseas tourists that features a number of open-sided bars. The blasts occurred within half an hour of each other at around 10.30pm local time. In initial reports, Thai police say the devices were detonated by mobile phones.
Earlier in the day, another small bomb exploded further south in the centre of Trang city killing one person and injuring at least five others. The device was planted close to a market a short distance away from the provincial hall.
Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the explosions. Twin bombs triggered by phones have been a feature of the ongoing insurgency in the deep south of Thailand. A political motive can’t be ruled out with the blasts coming just days after a referendum vote which saw the military junta tighten their hold on power in Thailand. The bombs also come on the eve of Queen Sirikit’s birthday, a day which is celebrated as a public holiday.
In August 2015, a bomb placed at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok killed 20 people and injured dozens more. Thai authorities believe the Bangkok bomb was the work of Chinese nationals from the Muslim Uighur minority.
Update Friday August 12 (13.30 local time):
There have been more blasts in southern Thailand this morning. Two more devices exploded in Hua Hin close to the clocktower which is a short distance away from the site of the first bombs last night. Devices have also exploded in Surat Thani, Phang Nga and Phuket.
There have also been a series of fires overnight in southern areas. It isn’t clear yet whether these incidents are related to the bombings, but Thai police say they found a suspicious device at the scene of a fire at a supermarket in Nakhon Si Thammarat.