Sunday, December 31, 2006

Two People Killed As Seven Bombs Explode In Bangkok

At least two people were killed and dozens of others injured when seven bombs exploded in various parts of the Thai capital here today, prompting thousands of panic-stricken people to cut short their holiday and rush back home.

Local media quoted police as saying that two people were killed at the crowded Victory Monument when a bomb went off around 6.30 pm while one person was killed in the Klong Toei area near the Na Ranong intersection.

Government spokesman Yongyuth Malyalarp, when contacted, said many people were injured but he could not confirm the number of deaths immediately.

All programmes on local television channels were stopped and only documentaries on the monarch were shown.

This is the first time Bangkok has been rocked by violence since the military ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a bloodless coup on Sept 19.

The explosions came just three days after police arrested eight Muslim men in an early morning raid on an apartment here and found them smoking marijuana and having in their possession weapons and a book on southern separatism.

Southern separatism relates to the Muslim militants waging a guerilla war against Bangkok to seek independence for the three southern provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani where almost 2,000 people have been killed in the last three years.

This is the first time Bangkok has been rocked by bomb explosions although the southern business hub of Hatyai was hit by a series of explosions on Sept 16.

The other explosions today occurred at a parking area of the Seacon Square Shopping Mall, the Big C supermarket in Sapan Kwai, the Tesco Lotus Supermarket in Prachachuen and several police posts.

Bangkok Deputy Governor Wallop Suwandee said all events planned to celebrate the new year countdown have been cancelled.

There was panic among the thousands of city folk and tourists as news of the bombing spread.

Many rushed to their homes and there were long queues for taxis in many shopping complexes in the city, including the luxurious Siam Paragon and Central World Plaza where concerts have been planned for tonight.

Policemen and soldiers were seen at many intersections and major shopping complexes. (D. Arul Rajoo - Bernama)
Picture - Source
Update: Three Killed, Up To 36 Injured In Bangkok Explosions



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