Thai PM visits south after car bomb attacks kill 14

HAT YAI, THAILAND (BNO NEWS) — Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday visited the southern region where a deadly bomb attack killed at least fourteen people over the weekend, local media reported. Hundreds more were injured in the attack.

Shinawatra arrived at the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel in the Hat Yai commercial district, located in the province of Songkhla, near the Malaysian border.

Two car bomb attacks targeted the provincial seat of Yala, the capital of the southern province which holds the same name, in addition to the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel in Hat Yai. In total, at least 14 people were confirmed dead while more than 500 others were reported injured.

Thailand’s army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha told the MCOT news agency that the bomb attacks were carried out by an offshoot of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional. As a result of the attack, the military leader said officials are considering increasing the presence of troops in the area.

Prime Minister Shinawatra was received by Songkhla governor Krisda Boonraj and Region 9 Police commander Lieutenant General Chakthip Chaichinda. The leader visited several victims at the Hat Yai Hospital, expressing regret after the attack and assuring that the government would provide rehabilitation services.

Since 2004, over 4,800 people have been killed in Thailand’s southern regions of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, as local insurgent groups renewed their fighting efforts against the government. More than 7,000 people have been injured in violent incidents launched by separatist militants.

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