Bombings: Hunt for suspects and motive begins

Bombings: Hunt for suspects and motive begins

An explosive ordinance disposal officer examines an improvised explosive device near Wat Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan. Four bomb blasts, which went off late on Thursday night, killed two and injured at least 17 people in Hua Hin district Photos by PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD
An explosive ordinance disposal officer examines an improvised explosive device near Wat Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan. Four bomb blasts, which went off late on Thursday night, killed two and injured at least 17 people in Hua Hin district Photos by PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD

A source at a meeting for security officials yesterday, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, said that political issues topped the possible cause of the attacks.

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As of 9am this morning, there was very little hard information on who was behind the bombings and why. There is a lot of speculation, however, and these short excerpts from two Bangkok Post stories will give an idea of what police and tourist industry officials are saying. I'll have more when the situation becomes clearer.

Tourist hub horror

4 killed, 35 injured in bomb, arson attacks

Authorities are giving weight to the theory that anti-regime elements were behind the deadly coordinated bombings and arson attacks that rocked the South and the resort city of Hua Hin from Thursday to Friday.

Four people were killed and 35 injured after a series of 13 bomb blasts and four arson attacks, which took place in Trang, Hua Hin, Phuket, Surat Thani, Phangnga, Krabi and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

A source at a meeting for security officials yesterday, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, said that political issues topped the possible cause of the attacks.

This could be the work of opponents of the regime or those who wanted to discredit the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which seems to have gained more popularity based on last Sunday's referendum on the military-backed draft charter, in which most people voted in favour of the constitution, according to the source.

One of the deadly bombing scenes in Hua Hin.

Officials placed terrorism as the second possible cause, the source said, noting there are reports of Islamic State (IS) activities in Malaysia, so this cannot be ruled out.

A source at the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministry said the SIM cards in the mobile phones used to detonate the bombs were from Malaysia.

National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said the attacks took place in the provinces where the majority voted in favour of the draft charter and it was likely that those attacks were aimed at damaging the government's handling of politics, tourism and the economy.

Based on the investigation, the incidents were linked to people who have different political views and may be connected to the violence in the deep South due to the similar use of improvised explosive devices, Pol Gen Chakthip said.

You can read the full much longer story here:

Business impact assessed

Post reporters

"We have not yet seen any kind of impact but even if there is any, there is most likely to be a recovery as in the past," Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports, told the Bangkok Post in a telephone interview.

Ms Kobkarn said that as this was not a terrorist attack, there was unlikely to be any long-term effect on the industry. Her ministry was maintaining its target of 2.4 trillion baht of revenue from tourism for this year compared with 2.24 trillion last year. In 2015, the total number of tourists stood at 29.8 million.

However, the private sector was not as positive as Ms Kobkarn with hotels now already experiencing some cancellations in their bookings ranging from the single to double digits.

The normally bustling town of Hua Hin was quiet last night. The was the scene on Soi 72 on Dechanuchit Road.

Ittirit Kinglake, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, said that if the attacks continue and the masterminds are international terrorists, the impact on tourism will be vast because terrorist strikes are a major concern for foreign tourists.

Thirayuth Chirathivat, chief executive of Central Plaza Hotel Plc, said the series of bombings and fires in many southern provinces would have an impact on the Thai hotel industry. "Hotel cancellations will take place for sure, but it's too early to evaluate business losses and how many rooms will be cancelled," he said.

Full story here:

Learn from listening

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  • aim: to have as your purpose or goal - มีเป้าหมาย มีจุดมุ่งหมาย
  • arson: the illegal use of fire to destroy a house, building, or property; an arsonist is a person who commits arson - การลอบวางเพลิง  
  • assess (verb): to carefully consider a situation, person, or problem in order to make a judgment - ประเมิณ, ประเมิณสถานการณ์
  • authorities: people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • blast: an explosion - การระเบิด
  • bustling: full of busy activity - อึกทึกครึกโครม
  • cancellation: a decision to stop something that has been arranged from taking place - การยกเลิก
  • cause: the person or thing that makes something happen - สาเหตุ
  • chief executive: the person with the highest rank in a company or an organisation - ผู้บริหารสูงสุด
  • concern: a worry - ความกังวล
  • connected: linked - เชื่อมต่อ เชื่อมโยง
  • constitution: the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by - รัฐธรรมนูญ
  • coordinate: to organise the different parts of a job or plan so that the people involved work together effectively - ประสานงานกัน
  • deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง
  • detonate: to cause to explode - ทำให้ระเบิด
  • digit: any one of the ten numbers 0 to 9 - ตัวเลข (0 ถึง 9)
  • discredit: to cause people to stop respecting someone or believing in an idea or person - ทำให้สูญเสียความเชื่อถือ,ทำให้เสื่อมเสียชื่อเสียง
  • draft charter: a constitution that has not yet been officially accepted - ร่างรัฐธรรมนูญ
  • due to: because of - เนื่องจาก
  • economy: the relationship between production, trade and the supply of money in a particular country or region - เศรษฐกิจ
  • effect: a change that somebody/something causes in somebody/something else; a result - ผลกระทบ
  • elements: sets or groups of people - องค์ประกอบ
  • evaluate: to form an opinion about something after thinking about/examining it carefully - ประเมิน
  • excerpt: a part of a longer story, speech, song, text, etc. - บทคัดย่อ
  • explosive devices: pieces of equipment that can cause explosions - สิ่งที่ระเบิดได้
  • gain: to gradually get more of something - เพิ่ม
  • horror: a strong feeling of shock or fear caused by something extremely unpleasant - ความหวาดกลัว, ความขยะแขยง
  • hub: the central or main part of something where there is most activity - จุดศูนย์กลาง
  • impact (noun): an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ
  • improvised: invented or made using whatever is available, usually because you do not have what you really need; made at the time when it is needed without already having planned it - กระทำหรือประพันธ์อย่างไม่ได้มีการตระเตรียมมาก่อน หรืออย่างทันทีทันควัน
  • in favour of: supporting a person or an idea, proposal etc that you believe is right - ยอมรับ, สนับสนุน
  • incident: something that happens, usually something bad - เหตุการณ์
  • industry: the people and activities involved in producing a particular thing, or in providing a particular service; the production of goods from raw materials, especially in factories - อุตสาหกรรม
  • injured (adj): hurt in an accident, natural disaster, attack, etc. - ได้รับบาดเจ็บ
  • interview: a meeting (often a public one) at which a person is asked questions in order to find out their opinions, experiences, etc. - การสัมภาษณ์
  • investigation: the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something - การสอบสวน
  • issue: matter; a subject that people discuss or argue about - ประเด็น
  • likely: probable or expected - น่าจะเป็นไปได้
  • linked: connected - เชื่อมโยง
  • long-term: that will last or have an effect over a long period of time - ระยะยาว
  • maintain: to keep - รักษา
  • majority: more than 50 percent of a group - เสียงส่วนใหญ่
  • mastermind: someone who plans a difficult or complicated operation, especially a crime - คนวางแผน
  • minister: a member of the cabinet, the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - รัฐมนตรี
  • ministry: a government department that has a particular area of responsibility - กระทรวง
  • National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) (noun): The military-installed group ruling Thailand following the 2014 coup d'état - คณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติ
  • normally: as usual; properly - ตามปกติ
  • opponent: someone who disagrees with you or who is competing against you - ผู้ไม่เห็นด้วยกับ, ฝ่ายตรงข้าม
  • popularity: a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - ความเป็นที่นิยม, ความเป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
  • positive: hopeful and confident, or giving cause for hope and confidence - ซึ่งมองในแง่ดี
  • private sector: businesses and industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - ภาคเอกชน
  • recovery (noun): the process of becoming normal and healthy again - การฟื้นตัว, การฟื้นฟู
  • referendum: an occasion when everyone in a country can vote to make a decision about one particular subject - ประชามติ
  • regime (noun): a government that controls a country - รัฐบาล
  • revenue: income from taxes or business activities - รายได้
  • rock: to shock, surprise, or frighten someone - ทำให้ตกใจ, ทำให้สั่นสะเทือน
  • ruled out: stopped considering this as a possibility - ประกาศว่าเป็นสิ่งที่เป็นไปไม่ได้
  • scene: a view that you can see in a picture or from the place where you are - วิว,,ภาพ, ทิวทัศน์,ทัศนียภาพ
  • scene: site; a place where something happens or happened - สถานที่เกิดเหตุ
  • security: protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage - ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย
  • series (noun): several events or things of a similar kind that happen one after the other - สิ่งที่ต่อเนื่องกัน, อนุกรม, ลำดับ
  • situation: all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์
  • source: someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว
  • speculation: ideas or discussion about what might happen or has happened or why something has happened without having complete information - การคาดการณ์
  • strike: a sudden attack - การโจมตี
  • target: a particular number or amount that you want to achieve - เป้าหมาย
  • terrorism: the use of violence to achieve political aims - การใช้ความรุนแรงเพื่อข้อเรียกร้องทางการเมือง
  • terrorist: of someone who uses violence in order to  achieve political aims - ผู้ก่อการร้าย
  • theory: one or more ideas that explain how or why something happens - สมมติฐาน
  • took place (verb): happened (in the past) -
  • unlikely: not expected to happen; probably won’t happen - ที่ไม่น่าจะเกิดขึ้น
  • vast: extremely large in size or amount, etc. - มากมาย
  • violence: physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people - ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย
  • weight: importance, influence or strength - น้ำหนัก,, ความสำคัญ
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