Mon, Aug 23, 2004 - Page 5 News List

Bombings precede Thai PM's visit to southern provinces


A judge rates performances at an international bird-singing contest in Thailand's Yala province yesterday, hours after the area was hit by three bombs in a sign of continuing Muslim separatist unrest. No one was injured in the bombings.


A bombing spree in Thailand's Yala province left 14 people injured, the Thai News Agency said yesterday.

Three bombs were set off before midnight Saturday, two days before Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra planned to visit the area, where more than 320 people have already died this year in sectarian violence.

"The first bomb exploded at 11:25pm in front of a restaurant of Yala My House Hotel, in which nine people were wounded," said the state-owned TNA.

A second bomb was detonated five minutes later in a parking lot behind the hotel, wounding three, and the third exploded another five minutes later in a parking lot, injuring another two people. Victims were rushed to local hospitals.

Two of the explosions were caused by small time bombs placed under motorcycles, but the third was a powerful TNT-type bomb hidden under a car.

Thailand's southernmost Narathiwat, Pattani, Satun, Songkhla and Yala provinces have seen rising sectarian tensions and bloody clashes this year.

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