Second victim of Thai coastal town bombings dies
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By Amy Sawitta Lefevre
BANGKOK (Reuters) - A second person has died from injuries sustained when two bombs exploded earlier this week at a hotel in Thailand's southern coastal town of Pattani, officials said on Friday.
The attack late on Tuesday at a hotel in Pattani, one of three Muslim-dominated provinces in the country's south, followed a string of bombings and arson attacks across seven provinces in Thailand's central south that killed four people and targeted tourist spots.
Police and Thailand's ruling junta have ruled out links between Tuesday's attack and the tourist-town bombings.
"Last night another victim, a male age 64, died from head injuries sustained in the Pattani attack," Colonel Yutthanam Petchmuang, a spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command, told Reuters.
The victim was a shopowner who was caught in the second explosion at the entrance to the hotel.
So far, no arrests have been made in connection to the hotel bombings on Tuesday. Police have issued warrants for three suspects in connection with the tourist town attacks but have given few details on the suspects.
The Muslim-dominated provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat were annexed by Thailand a century ago, and resistance to Buddhist rule in the south spilled over in 2004.
Since then, more than 6,500 people - most of them civilians - have died in violence, including shootings and bomb attacks. Successive governments have failed to quell the separatist trouble.
Talks between the government and a handful of shadowy insurgent groups began in 2013 under the civilian government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but have stalled since the military overthrew her in 2014.
No group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack but experts say the attacks would appear to reflect frustration over the stalled negotiations.
(Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre, Panarat Thepgumpanat and Surapan Boonthanom; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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