Thailand rules out foreign hand in Bangkok twin blasts

RSTV Bureau

Bankok-blast-3The Thai government has ruled out the involvement of a foreign hand in the temple blast in Bangkok that killed 20 people on Monday.

“The security agencies have collaborated with intelligence agencies from a lot of countries and have come to the same preliminary conclusion that the incident is unlikely to be linked to international terrorism,” said Thai junta spokesman Col. Winthai Suvaree.

The government officials further elaborated that it had sought help from global intelligence agencies to arrest the three suspects who are believed to be part of a 10-member network.

So far, nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack that has been termed as the country’s “worst ever attack”.

According to Col. Winthai, the preliminary investigation showed that the Chinese people were not the ultimate target because other nationalities were also hurt in the blast. As per the security agencies data, nationals from Hong Kong, the UK, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore were also among the foreigners killed in the attack. The blast at the Erawan Brahma temple which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok, killed 20 people including 5 Chinese nationals. More than 100 people were also injured in the attack.

On Wednesday evening, Thai police released a sketch of a young bespectacled “foreign man” who carried out the bombing and is believed to be part of a 10-member network. The government has announced a reward of 1 million baht (USD 28,000) for any information that leads to the suspect’s arrest.

With the suspect still at large, a Thai police official said, “We have not yet received any feedback from Interpol, but they are trying to help. Every country is trying to help us.”

The sketch released by the police is based on the CCTV footage and a description provided by a taxi driver who is believed to have given him a ride on Monday night. The sketch shows a young man in black-rimmed glasses with bushy dark hair and a light complexion. The warrant issued by Bangkok’s Southern Criminal Court describes him as tall man with a pointed nose and thick lips.

Meanwhile, the Brahma temple reopened on Wednesday for worshippers and tourists for the first time after the deadly blast.