Nearly two dozen arson and bomb attacks erupted across Thailand’s insurgency-torn south shortly after midnight, the army said Friday, causing widespread blackouts but no casualties in the Muslim-majority region.
The violence, which saw tires set alight and dozens of electricity poles damaged by explosives, struck only hours after Thailand’s king Maha Vajiralongkorn signed a new military-backed charter into law.
“There are 23 simultaneous incidents in three southern provinces and four districts of Songkhla,” said Colonel Pramote Prom-in, an army spokesman for the south.
However Don Pathan, a Thai analyst based in the far south, said Friday’s wave of attacks did not appear to be linked to the charter’s signing.
“There has been a small spike of violence since then. My gut feeling is that last night was a retaliation for that alleged extrajudicial killing,” said Pathan.
Thailand has been hit by a string of suspected rebel assaults since that fatal shooting on March 29, including one that saw around 30 militants open fire on a police checkpoint in Yala province, injuring 12 officers.
The junta, which seized power in 2014, has held several rounds of talks with a group that claims to represent the insurgents.
But the negotiations have failed to make headway and many doubt the rebel negotiators have clout over fighters on the ground.