Six bomb attacks across Thailand in less than 24 hours have killed at least 3 people and injured dozens more, officials said on Friday.
Two explosions hit the southern province of Surat Thani around 8 am local time (0100 GMT), one in front of the provincial police station and another in front of the maritime police station.
Another bomb attack hit the tourist resort of Phuket around 9 am. The explosion occurred near Patong beach, which is popular with foreign tourists. The blast injured one taxi driver.
Local media were also reporting that another explosion occurred in the seaside resort of Hua Hin, less than 12 hours after a separate bomb attack in the same city killed one person and injured 20 more.
The earlier attacks in Hua Hin occurred shortly before midnight, killing a Thai vendor, according to local police commander Kasana Jamswang.
“The bombings have the same attack profile,” Army General Danai Kritmethavee told reporters. “We believe at this time that this was a coordinated attack.”
“At this time it would be irresponsible to comment on the motive, but we are investigating all possible leads.”
Edwin Wiek, a resident of Hua Hin who was at the scene, told dpa that foreign tourists were among the injured.
The blasts occurred at an intersection with many bars that are frequented by locals and foreign tourists alike, Wiek said.
One person was killed Thursday evening in a bomb attack in the southern province of Trang, 850 kilometers south of Bangkok
“These attacks are aimed at creating unrest in the country,” Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters Friday morning.
“We do not know at this time if it is politically motivated but we will catch (the perpetrators).”
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he would not speculate “on the motives of the attack.”
“Right now, we have to focus on not creating panic among the people and restoring law and order,” the premier told reporters.
The attacks came as Thais marked a long weekend to celebrate Queen Sirikit of Thailand’s birthday, which is also Mother’s Day in the country.
Many Thais either return home or spend the extended break at seaside resorts like Hua Hin.
The blasts came less than a week after a nationwide constitutional referendum by the military government, which saw a military-drafted constitution approved by the populace.
Since 2004, an insurgent movement to create an independent state in Thailand’s three southern Muslim-majority provinces has resulted in 6,200 deaths and 11,000 people injured.
While bomb attacks and shootings are mostly localized to the three southern provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, attacks have been known to spill over to surrounding provinces.