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Huge Car Bomb Explodes Outside Supermarket In Thailand

At least 56 people, including children, were wounded.

10/05/2017 8:25 AM AEST | Updated 10/05/2017 8:49 AM AEST
Surapan Boonthamon / Reuters
The blast site where the car bomb exploded outside a supermarket in Pattani, Thailand.

At least 60 people have been injured when a car bomb exploded outside a busy supermarket in Pattani in southern Thailand.

The bomb was hidden inside a pick-up truck which was parked outside the Big C shopping centre, a major grocery retail chain in Thailand, the ABC has reported.

More than 20 of the victims were seriously injured, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, with the Pattani Provincial Hospital appealing for blood donations in the wake of the attack.

An earlier, smaller bomb ripped through the entrance to the supermarket on Tuesday afternoon, drawing people to the scene.

Footage of the explosion going off shows children crying and people fleeing on foot as the force of the blast knocks the camera to the ground.

The supermarket's decision to close off the building following the first explosion has been credited with saving many lives.

The Bangkok Post reports that security guards sealed off the building, preventing people from entering or leaving, as injured shoppers sheltered in the aisles.

Just ten minutes later, the second, larger bomb went off inside the truck parked just outside the centre entrance.

Most of the injured were parents and children shopping for the new school term.

The Australian Government warns tourists not to travel to the southern districts of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla, as Muslim insurgents are fighting to separate the deep south from the rest of Buddhist Thailand, resulting in frequent violence and unrest in the region.

Smart Traveller website
Pattani is part of the 'do not travel' zone in Thailand's far south, where Muslim insurgents have been wrecking havoc on the local population.

There are "high levels of ongoing violence in these areas, including terrorist attacks and bombings that result in deaths and injuries on an almost daily basis," the Smart Traveller website reads.

More than 6,500 people have been killed in the violence across southern Thailand since 2004.

While this latest attack is unique in its size and audacity, it's not the first time the supermarket has been targeted.

A bomb blast went off inside the supermarket in 2005 and an arson attack took place in 2012.

Insurgents are also believed to have been behind the six bombs that went off in Thai tourist resorts in April 2016, Fairfax Media reports, including an attack at Patong beach on the island of Phuket, which is visited by thousands of Australian tourists each year.

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