Bomb blasts rock Thailand

  • 12/08/2016
A victim of the Thai bombings (AAP)
A victim of the Thai bombings (AAP)

Bombs have rocked Thailand in a wave of attacks over more than 12 hours that have killed at least three people and injured dozens more, some of them foreign tourists.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is warning New Zealanders in Thailand to be vigilant, monitor the media for updates, and follow the instructions of local authorities at all times.

Pubs and bars in the popular seaside tourist town Hua Hin, south of Bangkok, were packed on Thursday night as tourists and locals celebrated ahead of the Queen Sirikit birthday celebrations.

However, witnesses said by midnight it was a scene of "chaos".

"There was a lot of blood, shoes, clothing, towels and tissues full of blood," said Edwin Weik, founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, who went to the site of the first two blasts in Hua Hin.

"I have seen three coups, fighting on the streets, blasts and bombs, shootings at temples, I have seen a lot of violence in Thailand and political turmoil so nothing surprises me," he said on Friday.

"But when it is clearly directed at tourists like this time, that is very shocking. I don't know what kind of impact that will have on Thai society and tourism."

A local female street vendor was killed in the attack and scores of others injured, including several foreigners.

Meanwhile in the southern province of Trang overnight, another person was killed in a bomb attack.

Hours after these blasts, Thailand awoke to series of further attacks across southern Thailand and again in Hua Hin.

Reports of the number of casualties are fluctuating, but so far authorities have confirmed at least three deaths.

In the province of Surat Thani one bomb exploded in front of the marine police office just after 8am (local time), killing one person and injuring three, with a further explosion occurring minutes later in front of a nearby police office.

Around an hour later two more bombs went off in Phuket and another explosion ripped through Hua Hin again.

Four men and a woman were injured in the second wave of blasts in Hua Hin on Friday morning with another bomb discovered on a motorbike and detonated by police, the Bangkok Post reports.

Hua Hin Police have asked the public to stay in their homes to ensure safety.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs have warned Australians to exercise a "heightened caution" saying: "Further explosions in any part of Thailand are possible. You should avoid affected areas, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities in the country".

According to a report released this week by the Australian financial intelligence unit AUSTRAC there have been more than 1300 attacks in Thailand over the past three years, including insurgent activities such as the destruction of property.

The country's national security environment is largely influenced by ethno-nationalist conflict in southern Thailand where extremists are ethnic Thai-Malay Muslims not currently linked to global terrorism.

The majority of insurgency attacks in Thailand are conducted by unknown actors.

In August last year, a bomb attack at the Erawan shrine in central Bangkok killed 20 people. Meanwhile in April, a car bombing near Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui caused a number of injuries.

Thursday and Friday's attacks come just days after Thais voted in favour of a military-based referendum.