Four dead as Thailand hit by wave of bombings

The first bomb exploded in the southern province of Trang - an area full of attractive beaches and tourist islands - killing one person and injuring six, according to police.

Eleven foreigners were wounded in the blasts, including nationals of Austria, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

No one has claimed responsibility for the coordinated attack, but police have ruled out global terrorism and said the campaign was an act of "local sabotage".

The explosions all occurred south of Bangkok and several of the blasts - including one on Patong beach in the tourist resort of Phuket - appeared created to hit the tourism industry.

The United States, Britain, Australia and several other countries issued travel warnings to their nationals.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said perpetrators will be brought to justice and his government will investigate and bring them to legal prosecution with the best ability.

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who was forced from office by the military in 2014, denounced the attacks, describing them as inhumane.

Royal Thai Police Col. Krisana Patanacharoen also said Friday it was "too early to conclude" who was behind the attacks.

The kingdom was on edge after 11 small bombs exploded across 5 southern provinces on Thursday night, August 11, and Friday morning, August 12, killing 4 locals and wounding more than 30 people - including foreign tourists. Nearly all the violence has been in the three southernmost provinces, which Trang does not directly abut.

The latest blasts came just days before the first anniversary of the last major attack on tourists in Thailand - an August 17 bomb that killed 20 people, mostly ethnic Chinese tourists at a crowded Hindu shrine in Bangkok.

Two bombs placed near a local bar called Johnny's 56 went off as tourists were leaving to go back to their hotels, CNN quoted Police Lieutenant Colonel Samoer Yoosumran as saying. The victims included Thais and foreign tourists, whose nationalities were not immediately known, according to the reports.

Four people are dead and many more injured after a series of blasts in Thai tourist resorts.

A Coventry expat in Thailand says people are living in fear after a wave of explosions left at least four dead. "At first we had a lot of mixed feelings, because we didn't know the area well enough", said Lexus Chlorad, 21, from NY, after arriving in Hua Hin on Friday afternoon.

Jon, 67, moved from Tile Hill to the seaside resort of Hua Hin when he retired. He said a Samsung cellphone had been recovered that they believe was used to detonate at least one of the bombs.

Also Friday morning, separate blasts were reported elsewhere in the south. One exploded on Phuket city's popular Patong beach, injuring one person. Two bombs went off in front of police stations in Surat Thani within the space of half an hour. And two bombs exploded outside a market in Phang Na, damaging two vehicles but causing no casualties. So he and his friends continued on to a venue where a live band was playing.

Soon the bar filled with panicked people running from the blast site, some smeared in blood.

"They didn't scream. They were more like numb", he said. Analysts say they are the only factions that have successfully staged sophisticated, coordinated assaults with improvised, remote-controlled explosive devices.

Thailand has been plagued by political violence, including several bombings, for much of the past decade. His ouster set off sometimes bloody battles for power between his supporters and opponents, who include the military.

Prayuth's speech was to mark the success of a referendum Sunday that approved his government's proposed constitution that is supposed to lead to an election next year.

Critics say the referendum was a sham because the military restricted open discussion and jailed more than 100 people who criticised it.

Friday's blast took place on a public holiday marking the birthday of Thailand's Queen Sirikit. It was for years the favorite seaside retreat of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch.

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