Bangkok: A car bomb blast outside a hotel in Thailand has left one dead and 29 injured, it has emerged. The explosion happened near a hotel in the province of Pattani, an area popular with Western tourists in the country’s south.
Pictures have emerged showing the remains of a building and a fire raging inside. The nationality of those caught up in the blast is not yet known. There are reports that the blast happened near the Southern Hotel in Pattani.
The twin bomb attack targeted a busy street filled with bars and restaurants. Hours later two small bombs were detonated in the beach town Patong, Phuket, another area popular with foreign tourists.
In its travel guidance, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has said there is a ‘high threat’ from terrorism in the country. It has also advised against ‘all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla on the Thai-Malaysia border’.
In March, at least 10 bombs went off in Pattani’s Yaring district, including two at bank cash dispensing machines, wounding 11 policemen.
Pattani is one of three Muslim-majority provinces in largely Buddhist Thailand, near the Malaysian border. Resistance to central government rule has existed for decades in the area but violence picked up significantly in 2004. More than 6,500 people, including Buddhist monks, teachers, troops and separatist insurgents have been killed since then.