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Twin blasts in Thai resort town kill one, injure 19

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Twin blasts in Thailand killed one woman and injured 19 people, including foreigners, late Thursday in the popular seaside resort town of Hua Hin, police said.

[BANGKOK] Twin blasts in Thailand killed one woman and injured 19 people, including foreigners, late Thursday in the popular seaside resort town of Hua Hin, police said.

The two explosions took place thirty minutes apart near bars in the nightlife district of the popular beach town after 10:00pm (1500 GMT).

"One Thai woman was killed and altogether from the two bombs 19 people were injured," a local police officer from Hua Hin told AFP.

"Three are in serious condition and seven of the injured are foreigners - four women and three men," he said.

Reports said the Thai woman killed in the first explosion was a street vendor selling papayas.

The two blasts were 50 metres (164 feet) apart, he added.

A second local police officer confirmed the bombings and said officials are still investigating a motive and the type of explosives used.

Photos published in local press showed emergency workers evacuating victims from the area on stretchers, and some foreign tourists with minor cuts and injuries gathered in a local hospital for treatment.

It is common for small blasts to rock Thailand during times of heightened political tension, but there have been few such incidents in the past year and it is rare for tourist destinations to be targeted.

Hua Hin is a high-end resort town south of Bangkok that is a popular with both local and foreign tourists.

It is also home to a palace for years frequented by Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch.

The 88-year-old is currently hospitalised in Bangkok for a myriad of health complications.

The bombings hit Hua Hin ahead of a long holiday weekend in the kingdom, with Thais set to celebrate Queen Sirikit's birthday on Friday.

The blasts also come days before the one-year anniversary of the last major bombing in Thailand, an attack in the capital that killed 20 people on August 17, mostly foreign tourists.

The explosive was planted in a popular Hindu shrine in the capital and was the deadliest assault of its kind in recent history.

Thai authorities have accused two Uighur men from western China of the bombing.

They have both denied involvement in the attack and their trial is set to begin later this month.

Thailand's military junta, which seized power in 2014 after a decade of at times deadly political unrest, has touted increased stability in the kingdom as a major accomplishment of its rule.

But the generals have been unable to quell a festering Islamic insurgency in the three most southern provinces - nearly 1,000 kilometres away from Hua Hin.

The conflict, which is largely contained to the far south region, has blighted the kingdom for over a decade and left over 6,500 people dead.

AFP