Suspect identified in Bangkok bombing: Thai PM
Iran Press TV
Aug 18, 2015 6:20AM
Thailand says authorities have identified a “male suspect” in the recent deadly bombing attack that claimed the lives of nearly 20 people in the capital, Bangkok.
The announcement was made by Thai junta leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha on Tuesday, a day after the attack.
“Today, there is a suspect who appeared on CCTV but it’s not clear... we are looking for this guy,” said the junta leader, adding that the suspect was believed to be from an “anti-government group based in Thailand’s northeast.”
Earlier, Thai Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan had announced that investigators were getting close to determining the identities of those behind the incident.
The Thai minister said that authorities had not received any warnings prior to the attack.
“We didn’t expect this to happen in a crowded area,” said, adding, “They aim to destroy tourism, economy, [and] our country. But during crisis, we can build unity.”
The bomb explosion targeted the Erawan Hindu Shrine in a central Bangkok district that is popular among tourists.
According to official reports early Tuesday, at least 19 people have been confirmed dead and tens of others wounded in the attack. Other reports, however, gave a higher death toll, with some sources saying more than 22 had been killed.
The Erawan Emergency Center said Chinese and Filipino citizens were among those killed.
National police Chief Somyot Pumpanmuang described the explosive device used in the attack as being a pipe bomb wrapped in white cloth. Police had initially said it was a 3-kilogram “improvised device.”
The area, where there are a number of shopping centers considered to be among the largest in the world, was also the site of an attack in February, which caused no casualties.
Meanwhile, Thai media reported on Tuesday that a bomb had exploded at Bangkok’s Sathorn pier after being hurled by an unknown individual.
CCTV footage captured the moment of the explosion, which left no injuries or damage.
Thailand has been witnessing unrest since its powerful generals took the law into their own hands in a May 2014 coup following the ouster of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government, which had faced months of protests.
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