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1 dead, dozens wounded in Thai blasts

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PATTANI, Thailand (AP) – Two bombs exploded near a hotel in insurgency-wracked southern Thailand, killing one employee and wounding 29 people, police and hospital officials said Wednesday.

The explosions occurred late Tuesday outside the Southern Hotel in Pattani, one of the biggest towns in a region where Muslim separatists have waged an insurgency since 2004 that has left more than 6,000 people dead.

The first bomb exploded in the hotel’s car park, but caused no casualties, said police Lt. Sirisak Wungkulum. He said the second bomb planted in an Isuzu car went off 20 minutes later in front of the hotel, killing a 25-year-old woman who worked in the restaurant.

Hospital officials said 29 people were wounded.

The explosions damaged several rooms and other facilities, ignited fires, mangled motorcycles parked outside and blew away the facade.

It was the fourth car bombing this year in Thailand’s south, the only Muslim area in the Buddhist majority country.

A wave of bombings on Aug. 11-12 in seven provinces, including tourist spots that have not been targeted previously, killed four people and wounded several dozen.

The government has not specified who it believes was behind the attacks, but analysts strongly suspect they were carried out by southern separatists.

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