The blast took place in the capital city of Yala province located near the Thai-Malaysian border, according to Thai PBS broadcaster. According to preliminary data, the improvised explosive device was hidden in a motorbike parked near a kiosk with ready-to-eat food.
No separatist Muslim group operating in Thailand's southern provinces — Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala — has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
Previously these territories were part of the semi-independent Muslim sultanate Pattani, but at the beginning of the 20th century, as a result of a series of treaties between the kingdom of Siam (now Thailand) and British Malaya (now Malaysia), they became part of Siam (Thailand) with a predominantly Buddhist population. However, separatist movements have repeatedly arisen in this region populated by Muslim Malaysians.
At least 3 people killed and 9 injured in a suspected motorcycle bomb blast at a morning market in Tambon Sateng of Muang Yala district, Yala province this morning. #Thailand #DeepSouth pic.twitter.com/1xZB7tTwCJ— ThaiPBS English (@ThaiPBSEnglish) January 22, 2018
The most recent surge in separatist sentiment with demands for broad autonomy for the region or its secession from Thailand began in 2004.