At least one woman was killed and 22 people injured when a bomb exploded outside a crowded tea house late Friday June 8 in Thailand’s restive Muslim-majority south, police said. Officers suspected it was the work of Islamic militants as the targeted shop in Yala was popular among government officials and students.
The bomb was triggered by remote control, said Colonel Acra Tiproch, an army spokesman. Among the injured, five people were seriously wounded. The bomb went off inside a public phone booth located next to the tea shop, police said.
“Two men on a motorcycle placed a bomb inside the phone booth. Immediately after they left, the bomb exploded,” said Police Colonel Poompetch Pipatpetchpoo.
Following the bomb attack, authorities cut off mobile phone services across Yala as militants often use the phones to set off bombs.
Earlier, two local government officials were killed and a third injured in a drive-by shooting in Narathiwat province, and two marines on patrol were hurt in a roadside bomb attack in the same area.
More than 2,200 people have been killed and thousands wounded in separatist violence that erupted in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala provinces in January 2004.
The violence has escalated despite peace-building measures by the military-installed government, which came to power following a coup in September 2006.