"The bomb was done by the southern insurgents who are trying to discredit officials, implying that they were unable to protect people," Colonel Acar Tiproch told the AFP news agency.
"They are aiming to use this as a catalyst for confrontation between security officers and people in the south," he added.Co-ordinated blasts
The attack came as police began investigating a six apparently co-ordinated bombings that wounded 13 people in the tourist resort of Hat Yai late, elsewhere in Songkhla province, late on Sunday.
|Hotels, pharmacies, a department store and |
a restaurant were hit in Hat Yai [Reuters]
Officials have been reluctant to link those blasts to the separatists, who are fighting for a separate state in the Muslim-majority region bordering Malaysia.
"We have to investigate first," Lieutenant General Jetanakorn Napeephat, chief of police in lower southern Thailand, said. "We are starting by checking the CCTV in town."
Thailand's Muslim-dominated southern provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat have been wracked by violence since an uprising in early 2004 over complaints of rights abuses by soldiers and discrimination by the country's Buddhist majority.
In September last year, six bombs exploded in Hat Yai, killing four people, including the first Westerner to die in the violence.
Major-General Paithoon Choochaiya, police chief of Songkhla province, said on Sunday that the placing of the bombs may have been related to national politics.
"So far we cannot rule out that the attack was linked to insurgents in the three southern provinces, but it is mostly likely linked to a political motive," he said without elaborating.