2005 Songkhla bombings
The 2005 Songkhla bombings were a series of three bombings that took place on 3 April 2005 in the cities of Hat Yai and Songkhla of Thailand's Songkhla Province, and are believed to be part of the on-going South Thailand insurgency. At least two people were killed and 66 were injured in the explosions.
No one claimed responsibility for the blasts, but they may to be linked to the Patani United Liberation Organisation (PULO), which has been an active participant in the South Thailand insurgency in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala. The attacks in Songkhla province may have suggested that insurgent activity was expanding, or simply that security in Songkhla province was more lax than in the three southern provinces. The bombings, drive-by shootings and machete attacks in southern Thailand began in January 2004, and by April 2005 had resulted in over 600 deaths. Thai officials denied that the bombings were linked with the southern insurgency.
The explosions took place between 8:00 to 8:30 pm. A bomb planted in a garbage bin exploded in front of a Carrefour department store in Hat Yai, injuring five and causing minor damage to the building. Shortly after that, a bomb inside a bag exploded at the departure hall of Hat Yai International Airport, killing two and injuring 47. The blast also caused some damage to the building. Later, a bomb planted on a motorcycle exploded in front of Green World Hotel in Songkhla without causing any injuries or deaths nor damage to the building.
At least two people were killed and 66 were injured in the blasts: one man was killed instantly in one of the explosions while a woman sustained serious injuries and died later. Both of them were of Thai nationality. Of the 66 people injured, 60 were Thais, one was an American, one was French, two were from Brunei, and two were Malaysian. Many were seriously injured, and several were in critical condition.
The dynamite and fertiliser bombs were set off by mobile phone. Images from the Hat Yai airport's closed circuit television indicated that the bomb was hidden in a man's luggage.
Immediately following the bombings, security was heightened in the surrounding areas, in Bangkok, and at airports throughout the country. The attacks prompted some to emigrate from the violence-torn southern region of the country, and others to cancel their travel plans to the area. The Hat Yai airport was closed for six months following the bombings.
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- Thousands moving out of city in Thailand's troubled south (Asia Pacific News)
- Thai bombing suspect caught on camera (Gulf Times)
- Multiple bombings in Thailand kill at least two (USA Today)
- At least two dead in Thai blast (CNN.com)