3 killed in explosion in Bangkok suburb, bomb strongly suspectedBy Grant Peck, AP
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
3 killed in explosion in Bangkok suburb
BANGKOK — A blast blew out the side of a residential building in a Bangkok suburb Tuesday killing three people and injuring nine, emergency workers said, in what police said may have been a bombing.
Police had yet to establish the cause of the blast, and there was no obvious reason that the 5-story apartment block in Nonthaburi province just north of the Thai capital might be a target.
TNN cable news channel reported that police explosives experts were speculating that the blast was caused by TNT or C4 explosive, perhaps used in a bomb as big as 50 kilograms (110 pounds).
Dozens of bombings have plagued Bangkok this year, both during anti-government protests from March to May and in the months since the military cleared the streets, but none of such magnitude. Small blasts since July have killed one person and wounded a dozen.
There have been no claims of responsibility for any of the attacks.
TNN said police explosives experts believed Tuesday’s blast may have been similar to bombs used by Islamic separatist insurgents in southern Thailand, who have been waging a terror campaign since 2004 that has led to more than 4,300 deaths.
That violence has been confined to the predominantly Muslim south of the country.
Matichon newspaper cited Maj. Gen. Srivara Rangsipramkul, acting police commander for Thailand’s Central Region, as suggesting the room where the blast came from may have been used by a bombmaker.
The blast came on the same day that Thai authorities extended a state of emergency in Bangkok and three surrounding provinces, citing continued security concerns. The measure was imposed in April during the anti-government protests.
The authorities recently warned that stepped-up violence was expected beginning this month, and over the weekend detained 11 men in the northern province of Chiang Mai accused of training for armed attacks on behalf of a movement to overthrow Thailand’s monarchy.
The claim has been met with skepticism by government critics, who feel it is being used to smear the so-called Red Shirt movement whose militant demonstrations earlier this year unsuccessfully demanded that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva call early elections. The Red Shirts in large part comprise followers of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was deposed by a 2006 coup.
In Bangkok’s worst bombing incident, eight separate bombs went off at locations around the capital the night of 2006-2007 New Year’s Eve celebrations. Three people were killed and more than three dozen injured by the blasts, for which no one took responsibility.
Associated Press writers Thanyarat Doksone and Kinan Suchaovanich contributed to this report.
Tags: Asia, Bangkok, Bombings, Protests And Demonstrations, Southeast Asia, Target, Thailand