One arrest made as net closes on bombing suspects

national May 23, 2018 01:00

By The Nation

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POLICE HAVE arrested one suspect for the bombing spree that hit Thailand’s deep South on Sunday, while others are being sought after being identified.



“One of the suspects is now in detention and has provided useful information,” Pattani police chief Pol Lt-General Piyawat Chalermsri said yesterday. “Moreover, we have evidence that can nail down several of his alleged accomplices.” 

Among that evidence is video from closed-circuit cameras and the testimonies of witnesses. 

“When we checked the suspects against records of old security cases, we could identify many of them,” Piyawat said.

“They are old and new members of the BRN,” he added, referring to the militant separatist movement. 

Pattani province was rocked by almost a dozen explosions on Sunday night. The ongoing investigation indicates that suspects gathered at a location in the Muang Pattana Municipality’s area before heading out separately to carry out the attacks. 

Typically, at least two insurgents carry out each bomb attack, but the investigation into Sunday’s blasts revealed only one bomber planted each device. 

“When they act alone, it becomes easier for them to evade detection,” Piyawat said.

He was speaking after police in Songkhla province announced they would also seek an arrest warrant for a suspect in the attacks there.

A source at Saba Yoi Police Station said yesterday that investigators identified a man caught on camera at an ATM booth just before one of two bombs went off there as Waekoyee Taleh, a suspected sympathiser of the Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) militant Islamic insurgent group.

Several explosions rocked Songkhla on Sunday.

Meanwhile at Yala’s Bannang Sata Police Station, superintendent Pol Col Theeraphot Yindee said CCTV images from scenes of 11 bomb attacks in the district showed suspects with features similar to men wanted in other national security cases. He said more information was being collected with an eye to seeking warrants.

Security measures have been ramped up in business hubs, densely populated areas and state offices following the 20 bomb attacks in Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla at the weekend.

 

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