Thai police say wave of attacks connected, one arrested

Thai police say wave of attacks connected, one arrested

BANGKOK – Reuters
Thai police say wave of attacks connected, one arrested

The site of one of two bomb blasts which occurred on August 11, 2016, in Hua Hin, south of Bangkok, Thailand, in this still image taken from video August 12, 2016. REUTERS photo

A series of bombing and arson attacks in southern Thailand that killed four people and wounded dozens was orchestrated by a single person, Thai police said yesterday, while a man has been arrested in relation to one of the attacks. 

Blasts on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12 targeted some of Thailand’s best-known tourist resorts, just days after Thais voted to accept a military-backed constitution that paves the way for an election at the end of 2017. 

“These acts were undertaken by a group in many areas simultaneously, following orders from one individual,” Pongsapat Pongcharoen, a deputy national police chief, told reporters. 

He gave no further details on who police believe was responsible for the attacks and no group has claimed them. 

Analysts say suspicion would inevitably on fall on enemies of the ruling junta aggrieved by the referendum results, or insurgents from Muslim-majority provinces in the south of the mostly Buddhist country. 

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has instructed the police to be thorough and cautious in their investigation, said Pongsapat, adding that police were “not catching scapegoats.” 

Thai police have come under fire in the past over investigations into high profile cases, including the brutal murders of two British backpackers on a tourist island in 2014.