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Four Arrested for Blast at Asia Hotel in Sungai Kolok District



An explosive ordnance disposal team inspected the hotel following the explosion


NARATHIWAT – Four suspects have been arrested in connection with an explosion at a Narathiwat hotel in the morning that left six people injured.

The bombing took place at around 11am at Asia Hotel, in Sungai Kolok district of the southernmost Muslim-majority province. Room Nos 306 and 307 on the third floor of the hotel were severely damaged. The impact of the explosion brought down the ceilings of both rooms.

An explosive ordnance disposal team inspected the hotel following the explosion. Police said they believed the explosion was caused by a home-made explosive device weighing at least five kilograms. The bomb was hidden in a bin that served as an ashtray.

Police are trying to find out whether the hotel was the target of the insurgent attack or whether a bomb intended for an attack elsewhere went off prematurely while insurgents were putting it together, according to hotel owner Amporn Wongthirarit.

Six persons – five women and one man – were wounded in the explosion. All of them were sent to Sungai Kolok Hospital for treatment.

Asia Hotel is not far from the Pro Computer and OA Thailand companies, which were severely damaged by a car bombing on July 20 last year.

Police arrested four men yesterday after studying video recordings from security cameras fitted just opposite the hotel. The four suspects had checked in at rooms near the ones where the explosion occurred. They, however, denied any involvement.

Two other suspects were found to have checked into Room 306 and left the hotel suspiciously after the explosion occurred, police said. One of the men was identified as Sulaiman Yapa, a local resident. Police were hunting for him for further clues in the case.

Meanwhile, two more people were killed in the deep South yesterday in what were believed to be insurgent attacks.

Defence volunteer Mayunai Waebusa was shot dead at his home in Narathiwat’s Rusoh district. His wife said that a group of assailants came to her home in a pickup truck and fired several shots at her husband.

In another attack, 71-year-old Pattani resident Salae Kadir was shot dead in a drive-by attack late in the morning while he was walking to a mosque. Police investigating the attack said it could be the work of insurgents.

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