'One dead and 20 injured' in bombings at Thailand resort town

'One dead and 20 injured' in bombings at Thailand resort town

Two small bombs have exploded in the popular seaside resort town of Hua Hin in Thailand, killing at least one person and injuring 20 others, according to Thai media.

The bombs were hidden in plant pots on a busy street with open-front bars, according to reports.

The victims include Thais and foreign tourists, whose nationalities were not immediately known, according to the reports.

The dead woman was described as a street food vendor, and some reports said a second person had died.

It was not clear who was behind the attack, but the timing suggested it might be an effort to embarrass the military government that took power two years ago.

The Irish Embassy in Bangkok has said it is aware of reports of two bombs at the seaside resort.

The Embassy is advising people to follow the advice of local authorities in Thailand.

Junta chief and prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha yesterday took credit for bringing stability back to Thailand after an extended period of unrest.

The incident took place on the eve of the birthday of Queen Sirikit in a town where she and King Bhumibol Adulyadej maintain a summer palace.

The ruling junta has declared that defending the monarchy is its priority, especially as there is concern about the process to succeed the ailing 88-year-old king, who is the world's longest-reigning monarch.

The prime minister's speech was to mark the success of a referendum on Sunday that approved his government's proposed new constitution that is supposed to lead to an election next year.

Critics of the charter say it is undemocratic and was fashioned to keep the military in control for at least five more years, even if a free election is held.

Another bombing took place earlier in the southern province of Trang, killing one person and injuring six, according to Thai press reports. It was unclear if it was related to the Hua Hin blasts.

Trang is on the fringes of Thailand's deep south, where a low-level Muslim separatist insurgency has killed more than 5,000 people since 2004.

Thailand has been plagued by political violence, including several bombings, for much of the past decade.

Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted as prime minister in a 2006 military coup after demonstrations accused him of corruption, abuse of power and insulting King Bhumibol. His ousting set off sometimes bloody battles for power between his supporters and opponents, who include the military.

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