Seventeen people detained after last week's bombings and arsons in southern Thailand are being charged with belonging to a criminal gang, but authorities have not yet publicly linked them to the attacks that killed four people and wounded dozens.

A military court late Thursday approved arrest warrants for the 17.

The authorities have hinted, but not publicly stated, they are suspects in the attacks at seven tourist destinations. Thai reporters were told by officials on an anonymous basis that the 17 had confessed to being in a previously unknown anti-government group called Revolution for Democracy but denied carrying out the attacks.

Many analysts believe the attacks were carried out by Muslim separatists who have waged an insurgency in the south since 2004.