Bangkok, Aug 12: A string of coordinated bomb blasts within hours rocked Thailand's famous tourist towns, including Phuket, killing four persons and injuring several others just days after the country voted to accept a military-backed Constitution.
At least 11 bombs, many of them twin blasts, hit five southern provinces in the past 24 hours. Two bombs went off in the resort of Hua Hin this morning near the clock tower, a city landmark, killing one and injuring three.
"The bombs went off while we were working on site, they were not very far from each other," according to Police Lieutenant Colonel Samoer Yoosumran. Around 200 meters away, another two bombs exploded late yesterday as foreign tourists were leaving local bars to go back to their hotels, Yoosumran said.
At least 11 people -- mostly foreign visitors -- were injured and a woman who had a food vending cart in front of a bar was killed, according to Yoosumran. No Indian has been reported injured. Hua Hin is a popular coastal resort, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of the Thai capital, Bangkok.
The city is home to many international hotel chains, including the Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt. It's also home to the Klai Kangwon Palace, the seaside residence of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The palace is located less than about 2 kilometers from the bombing site. Two more persons were killed in three blasts in Surat Thani and Trang area.
There were reports of bomb explosions in popular resort town of Phuket in Patong beach injuring a few but no fatalities were reported. A bomb also exploded near the governor's residence in Muang district.
The blasts came as the country celebrates the birthday of Queen Sirikit, a day also observed as Mother's Day here. This is is first time there have been bomb blasts in popular tourist spots like Hua Hin and Phuket. No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts and it is not clear if they are connected. Thai police said that the bombings were acts of local sabotage and not "terrorist" in nature.
"It is still unclear which group is behind the bombings," a police spokesman said and dismissed speculation that Muslim rebels waging a rebellion in Thailand's far south were behind the recent attacks. The series of blasts come days before the one year anniversary of the Erawan Brahma Shrine bombing, which killed 20 people. Thailand economy relies on tourism.