New bomb raises security concerns in Thai capital

Security was tightened in Bangkok after a bomb attack, hit a target associated with ruling class.

Last Updated: Sep 26, 2010, 19:15 PM IST

Bangkok: Security was tightened further in
Thailand`s capital on Sunday after a bomb attack, the latest in a
series believed linked to the country`s fractious politics,
hit a target closely associated with the ruling class. No one
was hurt and there was little damage.

Police Col Weerawit Chanchamroen said the explosion
took place shortly after midnight near the Royal Turf Club,
which is one of Bangkok`s two racetracks. He said the homemade
bomb did not completely detonate and caused only minor damage
to the club gate and a pedestrian bridge.

Weerawit said authorities are still investigating the
motive for the attack.

Dozens of bombings have plagued the capital this year
in tandem with anti-government protests by supporters of
former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a
2006 military coup.

At least a half dozen grenades have exploded since
July at targets connected with the government, killing one
person and wounding a dozen more.

There have been no claims of responsibility, though
the government has suggested the attacks are part of an
anti-government conspiracy.

There were two other small bombings Friday in Bangkok,
but the targets had no political significance and police said
they appeared to be related to personal or business disputes.
However, the Royal Turf Club, popularly known as the
Nang Lerng race track, is closely associated with Thailand`s
traditional power holders in the royal palace and the
military. Thaksin`s supporters, as well as pro-democracy
activists, accuse the ruling elite of staging the 2006 coup
because they felt his popularity and power threatened their
own influence.

According to Paul Handley, author of the 2006 book
"The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand`s King
Bhumibol Adulyadej," the Royal Turf Club and its crosstown
counterpart, the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, both serve as
exclusive sports, golf and horse racing clubs for the rich,
the titled and the powerful.

PTI