Bombs Found in Thai Govt Stronghold: Police

BANGKOK ~ Thai security forces defused four crudely made bombs in a southern city regarded as a stronghold of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s ruling party, police said on Wednesday.

One device was planted in front of the Democrat Party’s provincial headquarters in the town of Surat Thani, a second was found outside a restaurant and the other two were roadside bombs, they said.

Their discovery came amid continuing political unrest in Thailand, with Abhisit’s three-month-old government facing protests by supporters of ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

“We have found four bombs in Surat Thani but all have been disposed of,” provincial police commander Major General Thesa Sirivatho said.

British-born Abhisit said the bombs were aimed at embarrassing the government by aiming to show it could not control security, even in the Democrat Party’s popular base in the kingdom’s southern region.

“I have discussed with Suthep (Thaugsuban, the deputy prime minister) and he told me the bombs are to discredit my government,” Abhisit told reporters. “But they cannot pressure me by this way.”

Suthep is responsible for the security portfolio and is a key backer of the premier who is viewed as key to managing the fragile ruling coalition. He represents Surat Thani in parliament.

Abhisit, along with five of his ministers, is to face the first of a two-day no-confidence debate on Thursday, filed by the opposition Puea Thai party allied to his arch rival Thaksin.

Police arrested four Thaksin supporters at a rally on Saturday after a crude “ping-pong bomb” was thrown at Suthep’s car, slightly injuring one person.

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