Bomb tossed at southern Thailand hotel; victim of Sunday blast dies

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A bomb was hurled at a hotel in Hat Yai, in the third day of blasts in the southern Thailand city, while a Thai man who was injured in bombings on Sunday died.

Songkhla Province, where bombings have occurred over the past three days, is highlighted on a map of Thailand.

Tuesday's bomb dropped into a canal in front of the High Season Hotel and caused only minor damage. There were no injuries.

On Monday, four people were killed and 30 injured in a bombing at a crowded market in nearby Saba Yoi in Songkhla Province. On Sunday night, a series of seven explosions occurred at two hotels, two department stores, two restaurants and a drug store in Hat Yai, Songkhla Province's largest city. Thirteen people were hurt, one of whom died Tuesday.

The victim, Suchart Saetang, age 60, was injured by a blast at a restaurant. One other victim of Sunday's blast remains hospitalized in serious condition.

Police are still trying to determine if the blasts over the last three days are connected. In the Saba Yoi market bombing, police said witnesses saw a man park the explosive-laden motorcycle before the incident. The market blasts may have been a revenge attack for the jailing of two women suspects, police say.

The Songkhla Province bombings add to ongoing violence in an insurgency by Muslim separatists, which in the past year has seen an escalation, with almost daily fatal shootings of civilians and frequent ambush attacks on soldiers. Since early 2004, more than 2,200 people have been killed, mainly in the Muslim-majority southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. Thailand is predominantly a Buddhist country, but in those three provinces, the majority of residents are Islamic.

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