الأربعاء , يونيو 17 2020

Seven injured in Koh Samui explosion

The wreckage of the vehicle

The vehicle was parked in the basement of a shopping mall

Seven people have been injured on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand after a vehicle exploded, local media have reported.

An official told Associated Press it was caused by an improvised bomb planted in a pickup truck which was believed to be stolen.

It exploded at about 23:30 local time (16:30 GMT) in Central Festival shopping mall in Surat Thani province.

The official believed the vehicle came from a province plagued by violence.

Map showing Koh Samui

There were reports of other fires starting nearby at a shopping centre and convenience shop at the same time as the explosion.

The Samui Times said those injured have been treated for shrapnel wounds and shock.

The island’s disaster prevention and mitigation chief Poonsak Sophonpathumrak told AP the bomb went off after a fashion show in the basement of the mall near the popular Chaweng beach.

He said a number of vehicles had been damaged.

He said authorities believed the vehicle was stolen from one of the three southernmost provinces – areas that have seen violence from groups fighting for more autonomy for the ethnically-Malay region since 2004.

More than 5,000 people have been killed since the Islamic insurgency began.

Mr Poonsak said: “The authorities are still investigating the scene to find out more details before linking it to any insurgency groups.”

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered security in the capital, Bangkok, to be ramped up in February after two bomb blasts outside a luxury shopping centre injured one person.

Koh Samui, one of the country’s top island destinations for tourists, has rarely been a target of militant attacks in the past.

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