40 injured after attacks in Thailand

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More than forty people were injured and four were killed in Thailand following attacks in the country's south.

Suspected insurgents blew up a car bomb, weighing 30 to 50 kilograms, on Tuesday at a hotel in Sungai Kolok, a small city in the Narithiwat province. They also threw grenades and opened gunfire on two restaurants in the vicinity.

"The bomb was hidden in the passenger car and detonated by radio signal," said Colonel Parinya Chaidilok, an army spokesman. He added that the car the bomb was hidden in had a false licence plate and managed to pass a bomb detection machine screening.

27 people were injured and one person was killed by the bomb, police reports said. Half a dozen shops and eight cars were also damaged by the detonation.

Sungai Kolok is a town on Thailand's border with Malaysia. It has been a frequent target for separatist attacks over the past few years.

The South Thailand insurgency, is supported by some of the Muslims who make up 90% of the population living in the provinces. The region, that was a semi-autonomous Islamic sultanate until 1902, has suffered violence for decades, however it has been escalating since 2004 with increasing tension between Muslims and the Thai army resulting in 3,600 deaths.