13 July, 2015 Hotel Attacks
The Phuket News and other outlets report that on 10 July, a bomb exploded at the Top Asia Hotel in Sungai Golok district, Narathiwat province, on Soi Pracha Vivat 2. The bomb wounded eight people, three of whom were from Laos, and damaged nearby cars. This was one of six bombings that detonated in Sungai Golok and other places between 7:00 and 7:30 pm.
The Top Asia Hotel bomb was reportedly hidden in a motorcycle parked in front of the hotel. The Top Asia appears to be a guesthouse or a budget hotel. It is not the “Asia Hotel” in Sungai Golok damaged by a bomb blast on 18 May 2013. A backpacker profile of the latter hotel is on Travelfish.org.
Aside from the Top Asia Hotel, other bombing targets in Narathiwat included two restaurants, the Jenny Kitchen and Pat Grill, plus several shops. Some news outlets report the restaurant attacks entailed “large firecrackers.” The other attacks seem to have been by firebombs or Molotov cocktails. These attacks killed three.
At 8:50 pm (news article said “am,” an apparent mistake) on 10 July, a bomb exploded beside a police booth (kiosk or small station) and behind a hotel in Padang Besar (market), Sadao district, Songkhla province. The device was hidden in a motorcycle, reports The Nation. This particular market is directly on the Malaysia-Thailand border. The nearest hotel is the Siam Orchid Hotel, a budget hotel. The blast killed one and injured five.
The Bangkok Post says that authorities believe these bombs were deployed by an insurgent cell that attacked several targets during Ramadan last year, 2014.
Both Sungai Golok and Sadao are popular tourist spots for Malaysians, particularly Chinese Malaysians. Southern Thai insurgents frequently attack both areas. Since these towns are on the border of Malaysia, it’s easy for insurgents to strike them from their sanctuary in northern Malaysia. Insurgent targeting of hotels, other civilian venues, and Thai security forces will continue until Malaysia joins Thailand in a major crackdown on insurgent cross-border activities.
Copyright © Muir Analytics 2015
Sources and further reading:
“Six killed and 11 injured in Thailand’s violence-hit south,” Lidtime, 11 July 2015.