Myanmar soldiers yesterday fanned out over Thachilek searching for bombs in the border town in the wake of the golf course blasts on Saturday that have killed a 10-year-old boy and injured five others.
Myanmar police and soldiers stand guard on the Myanmarside of the Friendship Bridge linkingMae Sot district with Mywadeeprovince ahead of Myanmar’s plans to celebrate its Armed Forces Day tomorrow. ASWIN PINITWONG
Two bombs exploded at the 18-hole golf course at the Regina Hotel and Golf Club in Thachilek province about 2km from the Thai-Myanmar border across from Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district.
Initial reports said five people, including two Thais, were injured.
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However, Chiang Rai police confirmed yesterday that one Myanmar boy, who is a son of a hotel worker, was killed in the blast.
Myanmar authorities yesterday questioned Anucha Saengsanit and Chokechai Saeli, the two Thais who sustained injuries, at Chiang Rai hospitals.
Security was stepped up in Thachilek yesterday as Myanmar soldiers searched the Regina Hotel compound as well as commercial areas, tourist spots, casinos, and vehicles in the town.
They found two more bombs near the 17th hole at the Regina Hotel golf course in the morning. The devices were defused.
They believed more bombs have been planted in the border town.
Myanmar authorities have been investigating whether the bomb attacks were related to a citywide electricity blackout which occurred a few hours before the explosions on Saturday.
The blackout took place when a car crashed into a power pylon. Three men in the car have been detained for questioning by Myanmar police.
Myanmar authorities suspected militia groups in Myanmar's border areas that have been angered by the Myanmar government's truce talks with the Shan State Army (SSA) could be responsible for the bomb attacks.
Leaflets have been distributed in Myanmar's Tachilek town and in Thailand's Mae Sai district. The leaflets criticised recent negotiations at the Regina Hotel between Chao Yodsuk, the SSA leader, and representatives from the Myanmar government.
However, the SSA leader yesterday denied the group's involvement in the bomb plot.
"We and the Myanmar government are in the middle of ceasefire negotiations," Chao Yodsuk said.
"The talks progressed very well. I insist we still want to build reconciliation in the country through peaceful means."
Business operators at the Thai-Myanmar border yesterday said the bomb blast did not affect businesses in Tachilek and Mae Sai.
"The situation is not that bad," said Buntham Thipprasong, chairman of the Mae Sai Chamber of Commerce.
He added the explosion took place at a golf course which is far away from town centres.
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Writer: Subin Khuenkaew & Assawin Pinitwong