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Many killed or injured in Thailand

Deadly car bomb and hotel fire leave many suffering

YALA TOWN, Thailand | March 31, 2012

Two bombs killed at least 10 people and injured 102 others in southern Thailand Saturday, and a fire at a hotel in the region left four dead, officials said.

Authorities had not determined whether bombings in a busy shopping area in Yala Town were linked to the fire in Songkhla's commercial town of Hat Yai, the Thai news agency MCOT reported.

Lt.-Gen Paitoon Chuchaiya, chief of the Southern Border Police Operating Center, said two pickup trucks were used as bombs in Yala Town. The pickup trucks were stolen from Pattani and Yala, police said.

The second bomb exploded about 165 yards from the first.

The bomb damaged numerous cars and homes and caused a van to explode, MCOT said.

The Songkhla fire broke out about noon in an underground parking area of the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel.

Four people were confirmed dead in the fire and hundreds were injured.

Early reports indicated the Songkhla fire might have been caused by a gas main explosion or an attack by insurgents.

In Yala Town, Police Maj. Gen. Peera Boonliang told officers to check area surveillance cameras to look for clues on the identity of the bombers, the Gazette said.

The area is a popular shopping district for both ethnic Chinese and Muslims, Yala Gov. Decharat Simsiri said.

In another explosion in southern Thailand, police said an officer was injured by a bomb at a food shop near Mae Lan police station in the Pattani province, the Bangkok Post reported.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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