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Thailand hunts 20 bombing artisans, tourism aims to recover

Thailand’s authorities are on the hunt these days, as the Police and other government agencies are trying to unmask those guilty of the recent bombings in resort spots in the central and southern parts of the Kingdom earlier this month.

“We know where they came from, where they went. We believe there are at least 20 people involved in this network. We are unwilling to say what their motive is and whether it is related to the referendum, the insurgency or whether they were hired,” said Thailand’s National police chief Jakthip Chaijinda.

Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) official inspects the site of a bomb blast in Hua Hin, south of Bangkok, Thailand, in this still image taken from video August 12, 2016. REUTERS/REUTERS TV

As of today, no terrorist or other group has claimed responsibility for the attacks that took place on the 11th and the 12th of August in seven of the most visited Thai provinces, targeting resort towns, beaches and bars. Four people have died and dozens were injured in the onslaught. Government officials have since then reiterated the attack bore no outsider mark: police and the government ruled out any link to foreign militants within hours of the attacks. According to Thailand’s tourism bureau, the bombings haven’t affected the flow of foreign visitors in the SouthAsian country.

“When it happened, Thai people feel afraid so there was cancellations by some Thais – but not from abroad. I have many emails from our clients who seem to understand. So now the situation in Hua Hin has come back to normal.”

The wave of bombings focused on foreign-favoured resort areas like Phuket, which had almost 30 million visitors in 2015 – Surat Thani, Phangna, Trang, Chumphon and Nakhon Si Thammarat. Apart from that,  the Thai Chamber of Commerce says more than 365,000 visitors have given up on visiting the Kingdom, their decision being translated in $170 million in revenue losses.

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