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Pattaya Daily News

27 July 2010 :: 10:07:23 am 33574

Police Suspect Bangkok Bomber an Explosives Expert

According to high-level metropolitan police and bomb disposal units, the offender responsible for Sunday evening’s blast in Bangkok may have been an explosive expert. The findings come as bomb units working at the crime scene uncovered intricate parts of the explosive device on Monday.
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Bangkok, the 26th of July 2010: Senior Thai police officers working the Ratchadamri Road bombsite on Monday revealed that parts of an M67 grenade, electrical circuitry and a timer had been discovered at the scene, suggesting an explosive expert was involved in the incident.

The bomb, which exploded in front of the closed Ratchadamri Big C department store between Ratchaprasong and Pratunam intersections, killed one man and injured a further 10 people when it exploded at approximately 6:30pm on Sunday.

Most businesses along the Ratchadamri Road in and around the bombsite, including the Big C department store, remain closed following the riotous end to the recent 2-month long political protests in the area. The protests were forcefully ended on May 19 in a military led evacuation of the main encampment of the Red Shirt protesters. Eighty-nine people died in the protests while a further 1,900 were injured.

Police General Panupong Singhara Na Ayutthaya (National Police Chief Advisor) explained that the bomb found in Ratchadamri was more complex than is usually the case, using component parts of an alarm clock attached to a M67 grenade. He also described how the fuse of the grenade had been altered to allow the device to detonate at the designated time.

Reportedly, examination of CCTV surveillance cameras in the area identified a “person of interest” who police are now trying to positively identify for questioning. At present, police speculate that the incident was either politically motivated or that the bomber was intent on creating a “situation” in the nation.

The inevitable links to Red Shirt protesters and the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) for responsibility over the blast, on the eve of their iconic figurehead Thaksin Shinawatra’s birthday, has prompted the opposition Puea Thai Party into a press release.

The government’s main political opposition, via party spokesman Prompong Nopparit, told a press conference of his party’s heartfelt sympathy to the families of the victims. He denounced Sunday’s attack, which he stated, “gives the government a reason to extend the ongoing Emergency Decree.” Mr. Nopparit urged the government not to use the situation to the detriment of the nation’s recovery, before ending his address.

The Emergency Decree, enacted during the April/May Red Shirt protests, is still imposed on 16 provinces, including Bangkok. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had recently pledged to gradually revoke the decree in line with the continuing ease of political tensions. It remains to be seen weather this latest incident will affect the premiers plans. However, a delay in lifting restrictions in the capital is inevitable.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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David Brown