Car bombs kill 14 in southern Thailand

A series of car bombs killed 14 people and injured more than 500 in the deadliest attacks to hit the insurgency-torn far south of Thailand in recent years, officials said Sunday.

In an apparent escalation of their tactics, suspected militants Saturday attacked a hotel in Hat Yai, the largest city in southern Thailand and a popular destination for tourists from neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore.

A car bomb in the basement triggered a fire which spread to a shopping mall within the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel and killed three people, including a Malaysian tourist, according to the police.

Songkhla provincial governor Grisada Boorach said 416 people were injured, mostly suffering from smoke inhalation, and 140 were still in hospital Sunday.