At least one dead and 29 injured as car bomb explodes near school sending smoke into sky

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A car bomb has exploded outside a school in Thailand close to a police station, with at least one police officer killed and almost 30 others injured, and warnings that the list of casualties was likely to climb. The blast occurred opposite Narasikkhalai School, Muang District, Narathiwat Province just before 6am GMT.A Twitter user going by the handle of @jarin123s posted: “November 22, 2022 at 12:45 pm. There was an explosion at the police flat. “Opposite Narasikkhalai School, Muang District, Narathiwat Province/Preliminary inspection was a car bomb. The damage is still unknown.”At 2pm local time (7am GMT) he added: “Additional explosions at police flats in the area of Mueang Narathiwat District One person died, a traffic police officer at Muang Narathiwat Police Station and 15 people were injured.”Lieutenant Colonel Niti Suksan, deputy police commissioner of Narathiwat province, subsequently confirmed at least one person, a policeman, had died in the explosion, which he said happened inside a police compound, and which was caused by a car bomb.However, Mr Suksan warned the death toll was likely to increase.Pornprasit Jantha, director of the Narathiwat Rajanagarindra hospital, said 29 people, both police and civilians, had needed treatment.Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.Southern Thailand has been the location of ongoing unrest involving Islamist groups for almost two decades.In September, a policeman was killed, and four others were injured when a roadside bomb detonated as their vehicles passed near a hospital in Pattani province, also in the south of the country.On that occasion, a police motorcycle and a patrol truck had been travelling together when both were hit by the blast in front of a hospital in Mai Kaen town, according to police captain Wasuwat Kongtuk.In August at least 17 locations in the south were rocked by explosions which left seven people injured.In 2016, a motorcyle laden with explosives detonated targeting outside a police station in Khok Khian, Narathiwat, Thailand, one of two similar attacks in Muang Narathiwat district.In total, 13 people, including police officers and civilians, were hurt.No group claimed responsibility for this attack either.More than 7,300 people have been killed in southern Thailand since 2004, according to the Deep South Watch group, which monitors the violence in the region.Separately, US Vice President Kamala Harris visited the country last week, taking the opportunity to affirm America’s commitment to Southeast Asia.(More to follow)

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