Seven hurt in tourist isle car bomb


Published: Saturday 11th April 2015 by The News Editor

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A car bomb has exploded at a shopping mall on a Thai island popular with foreign tourists for its pristine beaches, injuring seven people.

The improvised bomb was hidden in a pick-up truck and went off late last night local time in the basement of the Central Festival mall on Samui Island in Surat Thani province, after a fashion show.

The island’s disaster prevention and mitigation chief Poonsak Sophonpathumrak said authorities believed the vehicle was stolen from one of the three southernmost Thai provinces plagued by Islamic uprisings. More than 5,000 people have been killed in the three southern provinces since 2004.

Muslims in the area, an independent Islamic sultanate until it was annexed by Thailand in the early 20th century, have long complained of discrimination and the insurgents are thought to be fighting for autonomy. The militants, however, have made no public pronouncements about their aims.

Mr Poonsak said the bomb destroyed most of the truck and damaged a few other vehicles parked nearby at the mall, a few hundred feet from the popular Chaweng beach.

“The authorities are still investigating the scene to find out more details before linking it to any insurgency groups,” he said.

Samui is one of the country’s top island destinations among foreign and Thai tourists. Insurgents have used car bombs in attacks on other tourist spots in southern provinces, but have never targeted Samui.

Published: Saturday 11th April 2015 by The News Editor

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