Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bombs in southern Thailand kill 8, wound dozens

HAT YAI, Thailand (AP) -- Suspected Muslim insurgents set off a series of bombs as shoppers gathered for lunch Saturday in a commercial hub of Thailand's insurgency-plagued south, killing eight people and wounding dozens, officials said.

Yala Governor Dethrat Simsiri said that 68 people were wounded by three blasts that occurred within a 100-meter (100-yard) radius and minutes apart in Yala city, a main commercial hub of Thailand's restive southern provinces.

"We are not sure which group of suspected Muslim insurgents were behind this but we are looking," he said.

The first bomb was hidden inside a motorcycle parked near a shopping area and detonated by a mobile phone at about noon, the governor said. Within minutes, a second bomb hidden in another motorcycle exploded, followed by a third explosion from a device placed in a car that set fire to nearby buildings, he said.

Such bombings are a common tactic of Islamist separatists who have been waging an insurgency in Thailand's three southernmost provinces since early 2004. The conflict has taken more than 5,000 lives.

Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani are the only Muslim-dominated provinces in the predominantly Buddhist country. Read More