Thailand's south hit by deadly blast

At least two killed and dozens others wounded in explosion near hotel in Yala province, wracked by Muslim insurgency.

    Thailand's south hit by deadly blast
    Thousands of people in Thailand's south have been killed in bombings and shootings since 2004 [Reuters]

    At least two people have been killed and 36 others injured in a car-bomb explosion outside a hotel in a commercial district in southern Thailand, police say.

    The explosives were hidden in a lorry parked across from the Hotel Holiday in Yala province's Betong district on Friday, said Wasan Phuangnoi, a local police official. At least three of the wounded were reportedly in critical condition.

    Authorities said they had been on alert for a possible attack towards the end of the fasting month of Ramadan in the Muslim-majority region, where armed factions have fought for autonomy.

    "We did not expect unrest to cause as much damage in Betong as this," said Banphot Phunphian, a spokesman for the Thai military.

    More than 6,000 people have been killed since 2004 in near-daily bombings and shootings in the region near Thailand's southern border with Malaysia.

    Victims often include Buddhists and Muslims.

    Peace talks between some rebel factions and the Thai authorities stalled as a political crisis erupted in Bangkok last year, culminating in a military coup in May.

    Many local Malay-Muslim accuse the authorities of widespread human rights abuses and a lack of respect for their religion, culture and language.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.