A series of bomb explosions rocked several tourist locations in Thailand, leaving at least four people dead and 21 more injured.
Phuket island and the town of Hua Hin, both top tourist destinations in the country, were hit with multiple blasts within a 24-hour period beginning Thursday. According to the BBC
, several blasts were also reported in different locations, such as Surat Thani, Trang and the beach province of Phang Nga, all of which are known tourist hotspots.
Local authorities revealed that nine of the 21 people injured in the blasts were foreign nationals. Among those hurt in the Hua Hin attacks are Dutch, Austrian, German and Italian nationals.
While no one has yet claimed responsibilities for the attacks, local authorities suspect that members of a network that trafficked Uyghurs were behind them, reported
the Daily Mail.
Local analysts believe that the bombings were somehow connected to sympathizers of China’s Uyghurs minoritya Turkic ethnic group living in Eastern China, who were angered by last month’s deportation of more than 100 Uyghurs to China by the Thai junta.
Analysts note that the attacks were suspiciously carried out a day before the Thai holiday marking the queen’s birthday, using bombs hidden in flower beds which were detonated by mobile phones.
The date is also just days before the first anniversary of a bomb blast at the Erawan shrine in Bangkok that took the lives of 20 people.
A week ago, Thailand approved a new constitution aiming to strengthen the military’s influence in the government via a referendum vote of its citizens.
“The bombs are an attempt to create chaos and confusion,” announced Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to the press. “We should not make people panic more.”
Following the attacks, the Thai government has since provided tighter security in airports and tourist areas while foreign embassies have advised its citizens staying in the country to remain vigilant.
Thai police are reportedly not linking the attacks to international terrorism.