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05BANGKOK1277 VEHICLE BOMB STRIKES HOTEL IN SOUTHERN THAILAND

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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS BANGKOK 001277

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

PASS TO DS/DSS/ITA, DS/DSS/OSAC, DSERCC, DS/IP/EAP

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ASEC PTER TH

SUBJECT: VEHICLE BOMB STRIKES HOTEL IN SOUTHERN THAILAND

 

¶1. (U) SUMMARY: A VEHICLE-BORNE IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE

(VBIED) EXPLODED 2/17/2005 OUTSIDE A HOTEL IN NARATHIWAT

PROVINCE, SOUTHERN THAILAND. POLICE REPORT 5 DEAD AND 49

INJURED. THIS IS AN ESCALATION IN TACTICS FROM THE DAILY

DRIVE-BY SHOOTINGS AND SMALLER IEDS WHICH TYPICALLY TARGET

THAI SECURITY FORCES. END SUMMARY.

 

¶2. (SBU) DETAILS:

ACCORDING TO ROYAL THAI POLICE (RTP) SOURCES AND PRESS

REPORTS, AT 1905 HRS ON 2/17/2005, A VBIED EXPLODED OUTSIDE

THE MARINA HOTEL IN SUNG NGAI KOH LOC DISTRICT OF NARATHIWAT

PROVINCE, SOUTHERN THAILAND. THE HOTEL IS LOCATED

APPROXIMATELY 50 METERS FROM A LOCAL POLICE STATION IN AN

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT OF THE TOWN. THE INITIAL POLICE

REPORTS INDICATED THE VBIED VEHICLE WAS A NISSAN NV PICK-UP

TRUCK. LATER, OTHER RELIABLE SOURCES HAVE REPORTED THE GREEN

NISSAN TRUCK PARKED OUTSIDE THE HOTEL TO APPARENTLY TO HOLD

THE PARKING SPOT FOR ANOTHER TOYOTA SEDAN WHICH WAS THE

VBIED. WITNESSES SAY THE PERSON WHO PARKED THE VBIED ESCAPED

ON A MOPED, OR ALTERNATIVELY, IN THE GREEN NISSAN PICK-UP.

ONE REPORT INDICATES THE POLICE HAVE RECOVERED CCTV FOOTAGE

OF THE ATTACK.

 

¶3. (SBU) POLICE AND OTHER SOURCES HAVE INDICATED THE VBIED

CONSISTED OF 50-100 KGS OF AMMONIUM NITRATE, DYNAMITE, AND

SHRAPNEL. POLICE ARE WITHHOLDING PUBLIC CONFIRMATION OF

EXPLOSIVE PENDING LABORATORY ANALYSIS. ADDITIONAL REPORTS

INDICATE THE VBIED HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS A STOLEN CAR THAT

PREVIOUSLY BELONGED TO A MILITARY NCO KILLED IN NARATHIWAT IN

¶2004. MOST OF THE DEAD AND INJURED WERE AT A RESTAURANT

LOCATED IN THE FRONT OF THE HOTEL.

 

¶4. (SBU) POLICE BELIEVE THE VBIED WAS DETONATED BY MOBILE

PHONE, A COMMON TACTIC EMPLOYED BY THAI SEPARTISTS. THE

ESCALATION FROM SMALLER ROADSIDE AND MOPED IEDS TO LARGER

CAPACITY VBIEDS IS DISTURBING TO THAI POLICE, AND US EMBASSY

SECURITY OFFICIALS ARE SIMILARLY CONCERNED. THIS ATTACK

CONFIRMS VBIED THREAT INFORMATION THAT HAD BEEN CIRCULATING

IN THE AREA SINCE SEPT 2004, AND MAY PORTEND SIMILAR ATTACKS

SOON. UNCONFIRMED REPORTS INDICATE AN ADDITIONAL THREE

VBIEDS ARE BEING PREPARED. THE FREQUENCY OF SMALL SCALE

BOMBINGS AND SHOOTINGS AGAINST POLICE, MILITARY, FIRST

RESPONDER, AND THAI GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HAS INCREASED SINCE

THE THAI FEB 6 NATIONAL ELECTIONS. THIS MAY BE ONE OF THE

FIRST ATTACKS PURELY AGAINST CIVILIAN TARGETS. AND IN WHAT

MAY BE A SHOW OF CONTINUING CAPABILITIES AND STRENGTH IN THE

FACE OF CURRENT THAI SECURITY EFFORTS, THIS ATTACK OCCURRED

ON THE SAME EVENING THAT THAI PRIME MINISTER THAKSIN

SHINAWATRA WAS IN THE TROUBLED SOUTHERN PROVINCES TALKING

ABOUT TAKING DECISIVE ACTION TO STOP THE VIOLENCE.

BOYCE

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Written by thaicables

August 26, 2011 at 5:33 am

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