One killed, 28 injured in south Thailand bombing

Friday, June 8, 2007

One person was killed and at least 28 injured in a bomb attack today by suspected Muslim insurgents at a crowded tea shop in southern Thailand.

The bomb, placed inside a bag in a telephone booth near the shop in the provincial capital Yala, exploded at about 8 p.m. local time (1300 UTC).

The dead woman was a 24-year-old Buddhist, police said. The religions of the other victims were not immediately known. Among the injured, at least five were hurt seriously.

"Two men on a motorcycle placed a bomb inside the phone booth. Immediately after they left, the bomb exploded," Police Colonel Poompetch Pipatpetchpoo was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse.

Another officer said the bombing came at a peak hour for the tea-shop trade in southern Thailand.

"The assailants seized an opportunity to stage an attack when police and soldiers were taking a rest," Police Lieutenant Colonel Jirasit Lomae was quoted as saying by Associated Press. He said security personnel had been standing guard at a trade fair in the province.

Drive-by shooting, roadside bomb, schools burned

In neighboring Narathiwat Province, a government official and another man were killed and a third injured in a drive-by shooting.

Hami Wani, 45-year-old deputy headman of Ban Salo village, was fatally shot at around 1 p.m. (0600 UTC) as he was driving home. An assistant was also killed, and another injured.

Also in Narathiwat, two Royal Thai Army soldiers were injured in a roadside bombing. The soldiers were part of a six-man teacher-protection unit.

Overnight in Krong Pinang, Yala Province, a school was burned by a group of around 20 men who came onto the grounds and overpowered 10 volunteers assigned to guard the school. It was the second school burned in an arson attack in a week in Yala.

Train service resumes

The State Railway of Thailand resumed train service today on its southern lines after repairs were made to tracks that were sabotaged earlier in the week. Security has been beefed up, with plainclothes and uniformed officers on trains, in stations and patrolling the railbeds and trestles. Railway officials said ridership was down following the attacks.