Multiple Explosions Reported in Southern Thailand in Coordinated Attacks

Thai bomb squad personnel inspect the damage at a gas station after an attack, in Nong Chik district August 17 | Image Credit: CNN Asia
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Bomb and arson attacks targeted at least 17 locations in Southern Thailand across three provinces on Wednesday.

Explosions and fires were reported in as many as 17 different locations in southern Thailand on Wednesday, August 17. Authorities said the bombings and arson incidents appeared to be multiple coordinated attacks which have reportedly injured at least seven people.

The bombings and arson attacks happened late on Tuesday night and in the early hours of Wednesday morning and appeared to target a number of convenience stores and a gas station across three provinces, according to police and military statements.

A Thai officer stands beside the burnt down oil tanker at a gas station in Pattani province, southern Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 } Image Credit: Associated Press

Police Captain Sarayuth Kotchawong remarked that he received a report shortly before midnight that a suspect had entered a shop at a gas station in Yala’s Yaha district, placed a black bag on the floor, and warned employees to leave if they “do not want to die.”

The workers left the shop, and the bag exploded 10 minutes later.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, provinces in southern Thailand, just north of the Malaysian border, have for decades endured a low-level rebellion, in which, according to reports, “the Thai government has battled shadowy groups seeking independence for the predominantly Muslim provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and parts of Songkhla.”

Convenience stores damaged after an attack in Cho-airong district in southern Thailand’s Narathiwat province | Image Credit: CNN

More than 7,300 people have been killed in the conflict since 2004, according to the Deep South Watch group, which monitors the violence. Peace talks that began in 2013 have faced repeated disruptions, including the long Covid-19 pandemic.

CNN Asia reports that the most recent attacks came after the Thai government earlier this year restarted discussions with the main insurgent group, the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, following a two-year silence during the pandemic.

Reports from Al Jazeera, CNN Asia, and Reuters contributed to this article.

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