UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Seven improvised bombs exploded on Saturday and Sunday in the provinces of Sathun and Phatthalung in southern Thailand, seven more were found in the same provinces by security forces and neutralized, no one was injured in the explosions, reports the Third National TV Channel of Thailand.
Explosions damaged several buildings, including a police station in the province Sathun, said in a statement.
Police believe that Islamic separatist militants operating in the neighboring southern provinces of the country, as well as politicians or organized criminal groups, could be behind the laying of improvised explosive devices, the television channel reported.
The provinces of Sathun and Phatthalung do not belong to the “extreme south” of Thailand, although they coexist with the provinces of Yalla, Narathiwat and Pattani, where militant Muslim separatist groups are active, requiring autonomy for their region, which in the past was part of the semi-independent sultanate of Pattani, whose territory became part of Thailand at the beginning of the XX century.
In the “extreme south” explosions and exchanges of gunfire between militants and Thai security forces have been taking place regularly since 2004, but the activity of the separatists in the neighboring provinces usually does not extend.
At present, an election campaign is underway in Thailand for the first parliamentary elections after the 2014 coup d’état, which are scheduled for March 24, and there is a possibility that the explosions are related to political interests, and not to separatist activities, the television channel reports citing the police.
Also in recent months, the police and security forces conducted several successful operations against drug trafficking and trafficking in the south of Thailand, and the explosions could be revenge on the military and police by organized criminal groups, the report said.
The police is investigating the fact of explosions and laying improvised explosive devices. The investigation has so far established that the motorcycle, on which, apparently, two suspects were moving and which was then stuffed with explosives and exploded at a police station in Sathun province, was stolen in November in the neighboring province of Songkla, the report said.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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