Pattaya Daily News

22 January 2010 :: 15:01:51 pm 9918

Thai Police Investigate RPG Attack: Major General a Suspect

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Thursday said a grenade incident at Thailand’s army headquarters on Rajdamnoen Avenue one week ago was not life-threatening but was only aimed at creating news headlines.
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Bangkok, the 21st of January 2010 [TNA]: He has, however, ordered a security alert at homes and offices of the country’s important persons and key places. The premier made the comment as the media reported that an M79 rocket grenade was fired into the Royal Thai Army headquarters compound and landed on the sixth floor of army headquarters but not near the office of army commander-in-chief Gen Anupong Paochinda last Thursday (January 14).

Mr Abhisit said he has asked Gen Anupong about the matter and was told that the incident was designed to make news headlines to cause public to fear possible violence in the future. The premier said the bomb was launched into army headquarters outside office hours and that that there was no indication that those responsible intended to kill or harm anyone. Mr Abhisit said he has instructed responsible agencies to tighten security at the homes of key public figures and places.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said earlier that the incident proved that some people are attempting to show their capability and that they are ‘above the law’. Mr Suthep was confident that Gen Anupong and the army can handle the matter, and asserted the government is strong and can maintain law and order.

Late Thursday army spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd confirmed the M79 incident affected the sixth floor of the army headquarters, but the grenade was not aimed at the army chief’s room. Col Sansern said that the Army Ordnance Department had not yet confirmed the type of grenade, but the bomb might have been launched during the night and that no one heard the sound. The army spokesman said he believes that the attack may be aimed at making confusion, not harming the army senior officials. “The army chief has been informed about the attack since January 15,” said Col Sansern. “He believes that the matter is to create a situation and will take legal action against the assailants.” Col Sansern dismissed reports about increased security for the army chief and the army headquarters, saying the measures taken are appropriate. (TNA)

Arrest Warrant Considered for Major General Suspected to be Involved with Army HQ Attack

Thai police may ask court to issue an arrest warrant for army specialist Maj-Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol, a prime suspect in the M79 incident at Royal Thai Army Headquarters, after raids Thursday at his home and that of a close aide produced a number of unauthorised military grade weapons and ammunition in their personal possession.

Bangkok, the 22nd of January 2010 [TNA]: Gen Khattiya is reportedly in Hat Yai, scheduled to return to Bangkok Friday morning, but  did not turn up at the airport. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lt-Gen Santhan Chayanont led a search team at Gen Khattiya’s home at the 4th Cavalry Squadron, in the Kiakkai area, and found a hand grenade and handgun with ammunition, as well as a grenade, weapons and a cache of ammunition in his car. Police detained two men for questioning, Pvt Manaschai Khamporn and Ekkalak Wisetwongsa, who both look after the house.

Meanwhile, another team of police and military raided a military flat at the 3rd Cavalry Squadron nearby, finding a dozen of M79 grenades, as well as other weapons and ammunition, including bombs in a room and inside a vehicle.

The police also detained Sgt-Maj Natthasit Suwanraj, a former close aide of Gen Khattiya, who told police he had worked for Gen Khattiya, but not for the past four years. Sgt-Maj Nattasit said all weapons and ammunition belonged to him, as he collected military weapons for 20 years, making the purchases in the border province of Sa Kaew. He said the two spent M79 casings found at his room came from Lopburi and were collected during training. Never, he asserted, did he let anyone borrow from his collection.

Gen Santhan said the raids were a joint action by police and military police. The seized munitions are being checked for links to last week’s grenade attacks. The police are seeking more evidence before considering to ask the court for an arrest warrant for Gen Khattiya while the trio could face charges for possession of illegal weapons. Also known as ‘Seh Daeng’, suspect Khattiya was suspended from duty for violating military regulations and was not home Friday morning. He earlier denied any involvement in the attack. Gen Khattiya said the assailants only wanted media attention and to show their disagreement with the government and some top ranking army officers, and that they had not intended to kill Army chief Gen Anupong Paochinda. He said the attack was an unprecedented incident and that Army chief Anupong and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan should take responsibility by resigning from the posts.

Army spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd confirmed a grenade incident took place last week and affected the sixth floor of army headquarters, but the projectile was not aimed at the army chief’s office. However, the raid was conducted to seek evidence. Col Sansern said that Army ordnance officers had not yet confirmed the type of grenade, but it may have been fired at night as no one it. The spokesman said the attack may be aimed at making confusion, not harming senior army officers. A grenade was reportedly fired at the Defence Ministry the same day but a defence spokesman denied the report. (TNA)

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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