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U.S. Consulate Damaged

Associated Press

A bomb tossed from a passing car exploded inside the compound of the U.S. Consulate in the southern Thai city of Songkhla early today, officials said. No injuries were reported.

Mayor Prachoti Ekuru said he suspected the bombers were a group of eight to 10 pro-Libyan Muslims who recently arrived in Songkhla “for sabotage.”

The group, from nearby Narathiwat province, included Thais and foreigners, Prachoti said.

Authorities said the explosion shattered windows in the consulate, damaged a fence surrounding it, as well as a nearby house, and ripped a small hole in the ground.

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Songkhla Gov. Anek Rojanapaiboon said the bomb exploded about five yards inside the compound fence and about six yards from the consulate building.

Police and military investigators were quoted as saying the bomb contained four to five pounds of TNT.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman in Bangkok said there was apparently no one at the consulate at the time except a Thai security guard, who was unhurt. The spokesman said Consul Pancho Huddle was on leave.

The U.S. consulate in Songkhla, about 590 miles from Bangkok, is one of three in Thailand.

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