Four days after a wave of coordinated explosions killed four people and wounded 35 across seven of Thailand’s southern provinces, police are still finding explosive devices that have failed to go off last Thursday and Friday. All in all, five bombs were discovered and defused across the weekend, all of them near the scenes of last week’s mass bombings.
According to the Interior Ministry, two of the explosive devices were discovered hidden inside mobile phone power packs, in a market in Hua Hin. Bomb squads defused them both, and the following enquiry established they were planted there last Wednesday. Hua Hin took the heaviest toll in the bombings: one explosion brought chaos in an alley close to a night bar on Thursday. Twelve hours later, two more bombs exploded across the popular resort town.
Another improvised explosive device was discovered today in Phuket. It was supposed to detonate at 3 a.m. local time on Friday. The bomb was defused, said the local police.
A couple of hours earlier, in Phang Nga, investigators discovered two fire bombs close to a market that was devastated by explosions early on Friday. Forensics are searching for fingerprints on the devices, of which one was still live when found, according to provincial governor Phakaphong Tavipatana.
“These acts were undertaken by a group in many areas simultaneously, following orders from one individual,” said Pongsapat Pongcharoen, a deputy national police chief, told reporters on Sunday.
Attackers struck targets in seven southern Thai provinces, using bombs as well as incendiary devices that set shops and markets ablaze.
“Our investigation is progressing. We know who was behind it. (…) I reaffirm that it was an act of local sabotage, not terrorism. We do not have terrorism in Thailand,” added deputy police spokesman Piyapan Pingmuang.
Two men were questioned in Hua Hin, hit by four bombs on Thursday and Friday, and another man has been arrested following a suspected arson attack in Nakhon Si Thammarat province. Many more are investigated and monitored, said the official.