Grenade lobbed at Nataphol's home 'meant to intimidate'
March 06, 2014 00:00 By THE NATION
ASSAILANTS WHO flung a grenade on the fence of rally leader Nataphol Teepsuwan's house yesterday morning intended only to intimidate and not to kill anyone, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) superintendent Pol Colonel Kamthorn Ucharoen said yesterday.
EOD officials identified the grenade as a powerful M19A2 produced by the Thai Army in 1981, he said. He believed all grenades of this type had been ordered destroyed. However, some may have slipped into the possession of wrongdoers, he said. “The attackers appeared only to [want to intimidate] because the explosive’s safety pin was off, but the explosive was wrapped with tape to prevent it from exploding.” He said police would ask Nataphol for footage from the security camera of the house in a bid to identify suspects. Yesterday’s attempted attack on Nataphol’s residence was the second in less than a week after a pipe bomb was thrown into his house on February 28. Meanwhile, Pheu Thai Party deputy spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard denied any link between the government and the grenade attack at Nataphol’s house, saying the government did not stand to benefit from such acts of intimidation. Rally spokesman Ekanat Promphan said the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) suspected the grenade at Nataphol’s house was linked with an incident in which Natthapol and his wife Taya blew whistles at Khunying Potjaman Na Pombejra, the ex-wife of Thaksin Shinawatra. Earlier, assailants hurled a grenade into the office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) compound in Nonthaburi’s Muang district on Tuesday night, investigator Pol Lieutenant Mongkol Khaopong of Nonthaburi police station said. The grenade caused a 30-cm-wide and 10-cm-deep hole in the garden of the office. Mongkol said he suspected the grenade was similar to the MK2 type. Police collected for further scrutiny fragments of the grenade and the pin found on the road. Pongsawat Kamwilai, 21, a security guard of the office, said he heard a motorcycle driving along the soi next to the NACC office. After the biker accelerated and sped away, the bomb went off. Meanwhile, two men were arrested at a checkpoint in front of the Pheu Thai Party headquarters on Phetchburi Road for illegal possession of firearms. Bundit Sakulbongkarn, 42 and Ekachai Polpakdi, 34, were driving a BMW when they were flagged down by police. Police found two pistols, a .32 calibre revolver and a .38 calibre, 24 bullets, two bullet-proof vests, three teargas masks, whistles and identity cards of PDRC security guards. The two men were taken to Makkasan police station for further questioning. The two men refused to give any statement to police, saying they would give their testimonies in court only and asked not to be photographed or filmed by the media.