CHIANGRAI TIMES – Five people, including two Thais, were injured yesterday when two of nine bombs left at a Myanmar golf course near Chiang Rai went off while a tournament in which key local business and government figures were playing was under way.
The incident took place at about 8am at the 18-hole course at the Regina Hotel & Golf Club in Myanmar’s Tachilek province about two kilometres from the Thai-Myanmar border across from Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district.
Col Khin Maung Soe, strategic commander of Tachilek, reportedly organised the golf tournament in the lead-up to Myanmar Armed Forces Day on Tuesday. He invited Brig Gen Zaw Win, deputy director-general of the Myanmar Police Force, and businessmen to the event.
The first bomb went off in a trash bin on the 13th hole while Col Khin Maung Soe and others were playing the 7th and the 8th. Shortly afterwards, the second bomb exploded.
Three civilians and two Myanmar police officers were hurt in the blast, according to Chiang Rai police.
The two Thais injured were Anucha Saengsanit, 33, a security guard at the course, and Chokechai Saeli, 17, a worker at a pig farm.
Saw Ye Min, 30, a Myanmar security guard at the course, was also hurt.
The golf course was sealed off immediately and security authorities found seven more improvised explosive devices there. Myanmar authorities did not close their border crossing with Mae Sai district.
A source said the explosion probably was not politically motivated as politics were progressing well in the country.
The source blamed the incident on narcotic producers in Myanmar who are angry at the country’s authorities for cooperating with Thailand on drug suppression activities.
“A target of the bomb blasts could be Col Khin Maung Soe, the strategic commander of Tachilek,” the source said.
Regina Hotel & Golf Club reportedly belongs to a former Thai politician with the initial Kor. One of its senior executives was identified as Miss Laksana Jirayawatsakul. The hotel is a popular destination in Tachilek for its duty-free shops, golf course and casino.