11 08 2016

The media report two sets of bombings in Thailand.

The first was in Trang where it appears that one person died and 5-6 other were injured. The explosion was “about 200 metres from the house of the provincial police chief and near the city hall, government office complex and office of the provincial election committee.”

Interestingly, Trang is somewhat outside the area of the south where separatist bombings have been most common. The authorities “said initial reports did not indicate links to prevailing violence in the three southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.”

The second – said to be two separate explosions – was in Hua Hin. This is certainly a long way from the southern violence. Initial reports were of one dead and a dozen injured. In later reporting, the number injured was said to be from 15 to 23.

Media outlets and social media is alive with speculation. Some say the explosions are significant for being almost a year after the Erawan bombings, which targeted tourist spots in Bangkok. Others – and the military junta may jump at this – point the finger at opposition groups as the explosions follow the referendum on the military’s charter. Another line is that the bombings coincide with the queen’s birthday, and at least at Hua Hin, a royal base, the royals may be targeted. The junta might like this notion as well.

One thing is sure: these events will threaten tourism, not least because tourists appear to have been among the victims in Hua Hin.

No one has so far claimed responsibility.