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Thailand Car Bombs Kill 14, Injure 340

Authorities call series of bombings worst in years
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2012 5:03 AM CDT
Thailand Car Bombs Kill 14, Injure 340
Thai firemen spray water to extenguish a fire at the Lee Gardens Hotel in downtown Hat Yai on March 31, 2012.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The biggest series of bombings in years killed 14 people and injured 340 in southern Thailand yesterday, reports the AP. Authorities suspect militant Islamic insurgents in the attack, which targeted shoppers and a hotel popular with Singapore and Malaysian tourists. The first explosion was a large truck bomb, going off just before noon in a busy shopping area in Yala city. Twenty minutes later, as people gathered around the bomb site looking at the damage, a second car bomb exploded, causing most of the casualties.

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“This is the worst attack in the past few years,” said a police spokesman. “The suspected insurgents were targeting people’s lives. They (chose) a bustling commercial area, so they wanted to harm people.” Authorities say violence by insurgents is down from its peak in 2007, but has been building again. “There is a concern that the average size of IEDs may be increasing," says one analyst. (Read more Thailand stories.)

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