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The scattered timing and locations of the blasts have people baffled and worried.

“It’s not right in my face, but I’m of course scared,” said one business executive. “I think if people see something funny, or weird, they should tell an officer.”

Unable to stop the assaults, officials have expressed strained hopes.

“I would like to thank the people for staying alert and cooperating with police following the recent bombings,” Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said in his weekly broadcast on Sunday. “If everyone works together, the situation will be restored soon.”

In September, the prime minister was similarly unable to protect the citizenry and said: “Many people, including myself, have assessed the situation and decided we will have to be more cautious over the next two weeks.”

Others are nervous about the possibility of yet another military coup in a country that has experienced more than 18 successful and attempted putsches since the 1930s.

“I will try to step back from politics, be clear of it, and leave it with the government so that soldiers can do their military work,” said Gen. Prayuth, who helped stage the 2006 coup.

“But if the nation has not returned to order, the military — as a mechanism of the government — must help build order first,” added the general, who was promoted to the military’s top slot on Oct. 1.

The United States has spent millions of dollars to train and arm Thailand’s military since the 1960s and currently trains its police through the State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program in the U.S. and in Bangkok.

The Defense Department’s Force Protection Detachment at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok also has trained and equipped police with hand-held metal detectors, lights, mirrors to check under cars for concealed bombs, and other items.