Car bombs kill 13 in southern Thailand

April 1, 2012 by  
Filed under World

A series of car bombs killed 13 people and injured more than 500 in the deadliest attacks to hit the insurgency-torn far south of Thailand in recent years, officials said on Sunday. In an apparent escalation of their tactics, suspected militants Saturday attacked a hotel in Hat Yai, the largest city in southern Thailand and a popular destination for tourists from neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore.

A car bomb in the basement triggered a fire which spread to a shopping mall within the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel and killed three people, including a Malaysian tourist, according to the police.

Songkhla provincial governor Grisada Boorach said 416 people were injured, mostly suffering from smoke inhalation, and 140 were still in hospital Sunday.

Until now Hat Yai and Songkhla province have been relatively untouched by the shadowy insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives in the neighbouring Muslim-dominated provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat since 2004.

“There is no hint why they did this at this time,” Hat Yai police chief Colonel Khomgrit Srisong told AFP by telephone. “We’re questioning witnesses and the injured for more information.”

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