Yesterday evening, after a peace rally in south Thailand organised by the Thai military to promote peaceful coexistence, bomb blasts occurred in three department stores in the Hat Yai business district. The places attacked were the Odean, Lee Garden and Big C stores.
Four people were killed with around 30 wounded. Unlike the Middle Easten problems, the bombs were planted on motorbikes instead of cars.
I hope no Malaysian was affected, as Hat Yai is very popular with our northern folks in Penang, Kedah and Perlis who would regularly nipped across the broder for cheap and delicious Thai food and shopping of … er … various kinds.
Thai authorities blamed separatist insurgents for the attack. Since 2004, the separatists have waged an insurrection that has killed at least 1,700, most of them civilians.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident a Malaysian was killed in the Thai village of Kampung Kokje in Tak Bai, Narathiwat. An unkown gunman shot Che Ayub Yaakup, a fisheries officer, from Lubuk Kawah in Bachok. His Thai penghulu friend was also among the four people killed in the shooting.
IGP Musa Hassan said although Che Ayub was a civil servant, his trip to southern Thailand was a private trip, and the killing was an isolated case. But he advised that people intending to visit southern Thailand have to exercise caution.