Was Thailand's Hua Hin Bombing Terrorism? Tourist Bombings Are Rare
A coastal resort in Thailand was hit by twin bombings on Thursday, the BBC reported. Local police said that the bombs were "hidden in plant pots spaced 50m (164 ft) apart, and detonated by mobile phones within half an hour of each other." The attack has the international community concerned about overall safety, as authorities ask: Was Thailand's Hua Hin bombing terrorism?
The Bangkok Post reports that, immediately after the explosion, the area's "district chief mobilised doctors to help the wounded and entertainment places were ordered closed as authorities feared they would be more bombs." One woman, a local, was killed by the attack, and a reported 20 others have been injured, some of whom are said to be foreign tourists. According to The Telegraph, four people injured remain in critical condition. The news outlet also emphasized the unlikelihood of this being considered a terrorist attack, stating that "separatist rebels frequently carry out attacks in Thailand's southern provinces, but bombings in the country's tourist areas are rare."
On this same day, another bomb exploded in the Trang province in Thailand, killing one person and injuring five others. Witnesses on the scene reported that they had observed "a man bring a suspicious object to the area" prior to the explosion, indicating that the bombing was thoroughly planned. According to The Bangkok Post, local Army region 4 chief Lt Gen Vivat Pathompak believed "the motive [behind the Tran bombing] was possibly conflicts of interests among groups in the area," diffusing suspicions of any international terrorist involvement.
Lady who sells somtam/papaya salad just died according to Huahin hospital pic.twitter.com/zD719jLFZa— Edwin Wiek (@EdwinWiek) August 11, 2016
2 bombs exploded in Thai resort of Hua Hin injuring at least 12, including foreign tourists (Photo: Matichon Online) pic.twitter.com/CBzpp0bSNV— CCTVNEWS (@cctvnews) August 11, 2016
Located right on the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin is a well-frequented tourist destination, both regionally as well as internationally. Reuters reports that the resort has been especially populated due to a holiday weekend.
The Mirror relayed that "southern Thailand was rocked by a series of bombings...in Yala, Yala Province and Hat Yai, Songkhla Province [which] were linked to Islamist separatists" in 2012. Though the bombings in Hua Hin are definitely being treated as incidents of terror, there has been no direct link to or claim by a terror group as of yet.
Police believe that this particular attack "was related to a local dispute" and was not related to a larger, terrorist organization, Reuters reports. Currently, the town remains on lockdown in an effort to protect its citizens of any further attack. Police and local authorities are working to gather more information about the attacks, especially seeking to find out who orchestrated them.