Thai army chief blames arsenal blasts on hot weather


Wed, 25 Apr 2007 06:28:00GMT

Bangkok- Thailand’s junta chief Wednesday blamed two explosions at an
army munitions depot on the kingdom’s extremely hot weather of late.
General Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, who is Army chief and leader of the
Council of National Security, flew by helicopter to visit the munitions
site in Lop Buri, 120 kilometres north of Bangkok.

After a brief inspection he said the blasts had probably been caused by
extremely hot weather and burning grass, and denied they were the
handiwork of terrorists.

The first explosion occurred at 8:00 pm Tuesday at a small-arms
munition depot owned by the Army’s Ordnance Department in Lopburi, one
of the army’s largest bases.

A second blast, apparently sparked by the first one, occurred at a nearby rocket stockpile owned by the Army’s Aviation Centre.

There were no reported casualties in the blasts, but 1,300 people
military personnel and their families were evacuated from the base.

Thailand has been rocked by several mysterious explosions since the
September 19, 2006, coup d’etat that ousted former premier Thaksin
Shinawatra.

On New Year’s Eve nine bombs went off in Bangkok, the capital, killing three people and injuring another 38.

The culprits behind those blasts, originally blamed on “people who had
lost political power,” have never been found.



Copyright © 2007
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