Spate of bombings leave Thais baffled, unnerved

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BANGKOK | Deadly bombings across Bangkok have evoked fear and confusion as the country’s military and police have been unable to keep the capital safe despite their years of counterterrorism training by the U.S.

In what sounded like a macabre weather report, government officials recently warned that more bomb attacks likely would occur in October, but might taper off in November. Police have said the city has endured an average of almost two bombings a week this year.

Security officials suspect pro-democracy “Red Shirt” rebels may be unleashing revenge assaults for the military crushing their nine-week insurrection in May, which left 91 people dead and more than 1,500 injured.

“If the conflict is not resolved, it is likely that more bombs will be used in attacks, especially IEDs [improvised explosive devices] because they are easily assembled,” said explosive-ordnance disposal police Lt. Col. Khamthorn Auicharoen.

Bangkok's bombers also might be acquiring explosives from southern Thailand, where the military has been unable to quash minority-Muslim Malay-Thai insurgents in a murky conflict that has killed more than 4,000 people on all sides since 2004.

However, some skeptics suspect rifts within the highly politicized military have enabled some of the attacks, noting that the army's top officer recently implored his troops not to seek violent retribution.

“Do not seek to destroy the army, even if you have failed to secure a promotion,” the army’s chief officer, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, told Thailand’s splintered, poorly disciplined soldiers in early October.

Full Story: Spate of bombings leave Thais baffled, unnerved – Washington Times