Thai police have arrested a suspect in relation to a wave of bombings that took place in tourist cities in August. The bombings hit towns south of Bangkok, including Hua Hin, Surat Thani and Phuket island, killing four people and wounding dozens, including tourists.
According to the police, the arrested suspect has links to Muslim separatists. Recent attacks have raised concerns that a Muslim separatist insurgency is spreading from the southern parts of the country. Police have issued a number of warrants in relation to the attacks, however, Abdul Kadae, who was detained on 3 September, is the first to be arrested.
Police deputy spokesperson Krisana Pattanacharoen told Reuters: "The suspect is currently in military custody where he is being interrogated."
Pattanacharoen said that Kadae is suspected of arson in Trang province in relation to the 11-12 August wave of bombings. Although further details have not been provided, the suspect can be held in military custody for seven days before he allowed access to a lawyer.
Kadae is from the province of Pattani, one of the three Muslim-majority areas of the south that has been home to a separatist insurgency since 2004. According to Deep South Watch, a group that is monitoring the conflict in Thailand, more than 6,500 people have been killed in the provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat since the separatist movement surfaced.
Kadae's arrest also come two weeks after a car bomb exploded in Pattani on 23 August, killing one and injuring 29 others. At the time, the UK Foreign Office issued a travel warning for British citizens holidaying in Thailand, noting a "high threat" from terrorism and cautioning against "all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla".
A statement from the Foreign Office said: "Bomb and grenade attacks have been indiscriminate, including in places visited by expatriates and foreign travellers."