Car bomb wounds 42 in Thai south
A powerful car bomb ripped through a restaurant packed with government officials in Thailand's troubled Muslim-majority south on Tuesday, wounding at least 42 people, the army said.world Updated: Aug 25, 2009 15:29 IST
A powerful car bomb ripped through a restaurant packed with government officials in Thailand's troubled Muslim-majority south on Tuesday, wounding at least 42 people, the army said.
The blast was one of the most serious for months in the kingdom's insurgency-plagued provinces bordering Malaysia where a bloody separatist rebellion has been raging for more than five years.
The 50-kilogram device was hidden inside a stolen Toyota pick-up truck and exploded during the busy lunch hour in the centre of Narathiwat, the main town in the province of the same name, officials said.
"It's very horrible. We had intelligence that militants would mount a large-scale attack," Lieutenant General Pichet Wisaichorn, the southern region army commander said.
He said that seven of the 42 people injured in the blast were in a critical condition. Most of the wounded were Buddhist government officials, who are often targeted by the Islamist militants in the region.
Police and rescue workers were rushing the wounded to hospital and the local government chief was among those injured, a policeman said on condition of anonymity.
More than 3,700 people have been killed and thousands more injured since the insurgency erupted in 2004, led by shadowy insurgents who have never publicly stated their goals.