(New York) – A string of bomb and arson attacks in Thailand’s southern provinces on August 11-12, 2016, killed at least 4 civilians and wounded 35 others, Human Rights Watch said today. Within 24 hours, there were at least 11 explosions in five provinces in Thailand’s southern region. No individuals or groups have claimed responsibility for the attacks.
“Whatever the grievances of those responsible, there is no acceptable justification or excuse for these deliberate attacks on civilians,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
The first explosion took place at about 3 p.m. on August 11, at Center Point Market in Trang province’s Muang district, killing one person and wounding six. Later that evening, two bombs went off in the tourist area in Prachuab Kirikhan province’s Hua Hin district. One person was killed and 21 were injured. On the morning of August 12, one person was killed and two were wounded in two explosions in Surat Thani province’s Muang district. Shortly after that, in Phuket province’s Patong Beach area, two explosions caused one injury. Hua Hin district was then struck again with two more bombs, killing one person and wounding three.
In addition, unidentified individuals carried out arson attacks at markets and shopping malls in Trang, Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani, and Nakhon Srithammarat provinces. Incendiary improvised explosive devices were used in some cases.
Every effort should be made to identify those responsible for the attacks and bring them to justice, Human Rights Watch said. In the face of these attacks, during Thailand’s celebration of the Queen’s birthday, it is important for the Thai government to demonstrate a strong commitment to human rights and the rule of law. Thai authorities should take all necessary steps to conduct a serious, impartial, and transparent investigation to bring those responsible to justice, while ensuring that due process rights are respected.
“Upholding due process and the fair trial rights of those responsible will be key not only to delivering justice for the victims, but also to demonstrating Thailand’s commitment to the rule of law in the face of heinous crimes,” Adams said.
Timeline of bomb attacks
At 3 p.m., a bomb went off at Center Point Market in Trang province’s Muang district, killing one and injuring at least six others.
At 10:15 p.m., a bomb hit Prachuab Kirikhan province’s Hua Hin district in front of the Johnny’s 56 Bar. Around 11 p.m., a second explosion took place in front of Raintree Spa. The bombs killed one person and injured 21 others, including 10 foreign tourists.
At 7:45 a.m., there was an explosion in a park on Phuket province’s Patong Beach, wounding one. Another bomb went off around 8 a.m.at a nearby police box, but no one was injured.
At 8 a.m., two bombs went off near Surat Thani Police Station and Surat Thani Marine Police Station, where a ceremony for the Queen’s birthday was held. One person was killed and three were injured.
At 9 a.m., two bombs exploded at a clock tower in Prachuab Kirikhan province’s Hua Hin district, killing one person and injuring three.
At 9 a.m., there were two explosions at Bang Niang Market in Phang Nga province’s Takua Pa district. No one was injured.