Police launch manhunt for Jan 19 bomber

national February 28, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Bt700,000 cash reward on offer as teams set up to investigate incidents

THE ROYAL Thai Police yesterday announced that an arrest warrant had been issued for 43-year-old Kritsada Chaikhae in relation to the bombing of the Victory Monument rally site on January 19. A cash reward of Bt700,000 is on offer for information leading to his arrest. The suspect faces a murder charge.
Police believe the same group might also be responsible for the January 17 bombing in Banthat Thong, police spokesman Pol Maj-General Piya Uthayo said.
As for the January 26 clashes near Wat Sri Iam on Bang Na-Trat Road, in which anti-government protest leader Suthin Taratin was killed, police are seeking an arrest warrant for an unnamed suspect captured in the video clip. This man would face charges of illegally possessing a firearm and carrying it to a public place without a sound reason as well as using it in a public area. 
Piya said the police had set up four teams to cover 63 rally-related violent incidents. The teams have been put in charge of the Ramkhamhaeng clash, the Din Daeng clash, and the bombings in Bangkok and Trat, while the fourth team will look into other cases including the clash in Lak Si, Suthin’s murder and the conflict in the Phan Fah Lilat Bridge area. 
So far, four men have been arrested in relation to the Ramkhamhaeng clash – two for the killing of Private Thanasit Viengkham and two for the burning of a bus that led to the death of Suradech Khampaeng.
The investigation into the nine bombing incidents has, so far, found that the same assailants might be behind the bomb attack on Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva’s home and the attack on Suan Pakkad Palace museum, which belongs to Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra’s family, Piya said.
In relation to the Rajdamri bombing, trajectory tests show that grenades came from the direction of the Pratunam intersection, and hence police will inspect all tall buildings in the area. 
As for the shooting and bombing at a rally site in Trat’s Khao Saming district on Saturday, Piya said police believe the motive could be either political gain or personal conflicts. 
Adding that the police had assigned a special team to tackle cases involving M79 grenades, Piya insisted that the police would work carefully, transparently and judicially and will stick to the evidence. 
Meanwhile, Khao Saming Police Station’s superintendent Pol Colonel Jirawuth Tanthasri reported 33 witnesses had been interviewed, with another 10 waiting to be questioned in relation to the attack, in which two children were killed and 33 injured. 
Jirawuth said that since most witnesses couldn’t clearly identify the attackers, whose faces were covered, or the vehicle they used, police would check security camera footage for more clues. 
Though information posted on social media cannot be used as evidence, it can be used to help the investigators’ situation analysis, he said. 
As of press time yesterday, nine victims of the Trat attack were still in hospital. 
The Rights and Liberties Protection Department yesterday gave Bt100,000 to the family of five-year-old Natchaya Rosungnern, who was pronounced dead on Tuesday from injuries sustained in the attack. 

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