Authorities checking the blast scene at Charern Pradit, soi 5, found a mangled pickup truck that had contained the explosives. At Ormsap village behind the hotel, all the mirrors and glass panels were broken. Hotel staff members were injured from broken mirrors, but no major injuries were reported. The truck was a dark-colored Dmax Izusu, registration code 8099 BKK. Apparently the same truck had also been used by the terrorists to block three chicken transporters from SongKhla who were killed on June 25 in Kapoh Pattani.
Royal Thai Army spokesman Pol. Col. Sansern Kaeokanerd said in a phone interview that the incident is being handled as a car bombing. Authorities have brought all the people out of the danger zone, he said. The explosive ordnance disposal special division Anotai is examining the scene before giving clearance for people to re-enter.
He said the bombing occurred outside of the hotel because of the strict security restricting access into the hotel by any terrorists with bombs.
The army spokesman added that the bomb was the attempt of terrorists to scare people by demonstrating that they can detonate explosives anywhere at any time. They are trying to plant fear in people to make them think that deadly violence will be happening continually. The army is working on a counter stategy of “understand appreciate and develop” with the PM and the minister of the Ministry of Defense, to train soldiers to handle future violence by terrorists.
Pol. Col. Sansern Kaeokanerd said the best way for people to deal with the random violence of terrorists is not to panic. He reassured the public that authorities at every level of government were doing their best for people’s safety.
He said that if people like the office workers, hotel workers, teachers, students and other government workers were to panic, it would be playing right into the terrorists’ goal of spreading fear in the general population. As a result, the pressure would be transferred from the terrorists to the authorities who have to deal with the unfounded widespread fear of the people.
He said every unit of soldiers in 3 border provinces and 4 districts of Songkhla have been well trained and are ready to deal with future terrorist threats. There will be changes made by the army units to adapt to the new threats in the aftermath of the bombing.
The CS Hotel owner, Mr. Anusat Suwannamongkol, the Pattani senator, said he was shocked by the incident, and his first concern is the safety of hotel staff and guests. He is very grateful that no deaths or serious injuries resulted from the blast, and he will do whatever he can to help.
Mr. Anusat said he did not know the reason for this latest bombing, or who was responsible for it. He also condemned the previous bombing at his hotel four years ago that killed his driver. Mr. Anusat was also among the 15 other people injured in that blast.
His CS Hotel is the highest-ranked hotel in the three provinces on the south border. Mr. Anusat is currently in Bangkok and was unable to get an immediate flight back to Pattane. He will depart for Pattani on the next earliest flight.