Several bomb blasts rocked Thailand late Thursday and Friday morning, injuring at least 15 people. Officials suspect the bombs were set off by insurgents using remotes from a city in the country's restive south.
Officials also found two bombs that did not explode while the rest of the improvised bombs went off in 17 places in Yala province in southern Thailand, the Associated Press (AP) reported, citing Police Col. Jamlong Suwalak. Some witnesses reportedly saw two men throw a grenade at a local breakfast restaurant while riding a motorcycle. The grenade injured one person. Netchanok Sintiratti, a nurse at the Yala Hospital, reportedly said that an 11-year-old boy was also among the people injured in Thursday's explosions.
“The blasts hit some markets, in front of the university of technology, near the railway station as well as in front of banks and commercial buildings,” Suwalak told the Andalou Agency, adding: “All were remote-controlled.”
Yala province is one of the three provinces, besides Pattani and Narathiwat, where Muslims are in majority in an otherwise Buddhist country. Islamic insurgency in Thailand began in 2004 and since then over 5,000 people have been killed in attacks. The rebels have not issued a specific demand but are believed to be fighting for an independent state, the AP reported.
Over 93 percent of the Thai population follows Buddhism while only about 5 percent of the population is believed to be Muslim.
The explosions come as the Thai junta gets ready to restart negotiations with some insurgent groups in the country. Two rounds of negotiations with the insurgents were conducted in 2012 and 2013, but talks were suspended after anti-government protests started in the country. After the political unrest that gripped Thailand, the government, which was formerly run by Yingluck Shinawatra, was overthrown by General Prayuth Chan-ocha in a coup last May.