Thai bomb suspect admits to being at attack scene

Thai police on Wednesday made considerable progress in its probe into a deadly bombing at a temple here after the main suspect admitted to being at the bombing scene and his fingerprints matched those found on a bottle containing bomb-making materials.

AFP| Last Updated: Sep 02, 2015, 20:44 PM IST

Bangkok: Thai police on Wednesday made considerable progress in its probe into a deadly bombing at a temple here after the main suspect admitted to being at the bombing scene and his fingerprints matched those found on a bottle containing bomb-making materials.

Deputy police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said the main suspect - a foreign man national whose identity has yet to be confirmed -- was arrested in Sa Kaeo province near the border while trying to sneak through forest into Cambodia yesterday.

Chakthip said the man confessed during interrogation that he had been at the bomb scene at the time of the explosion, but denied he had placed the bomb.

However, results of the investigation still pointed to the possibility that the suspect was the Erawan shrine bomber, police said.

Twenty people were killed and over 100 injured in the evening rush hour bomb blast at the temple on August 17.

During interrogation, police learned that he often travelled between Thailand and Cambodia, Chakthip said.

The deputy police chief also said the suspect was connected to the first bombing suspect arrested in Bangkok's Nong Chok district last Saturday.

The fingerprints of the suspect arrested yesterday matched those found on bomb-making items discovered at a flat over the weekend in Nong Chok district, police spokesman General Prawut Thavornsiri said.

"We can confirm that this man is directly involved with the bomb material," he said.

Police also issued an arrest warrant for a Turkish man over the bombing, identifying the nationality of a suspect for the first time in their probe. The clues in the case point to a link with the trafficking of ethnic Uighurs from China's Xinjiang province via Thailand.

The Turkish connection has fuelled speculation the suspects may be part of a group seeking to avenge Thailand's forced repatriation of Uighurs to China in July as the Erawan Shrine is especially popular with Chinese tourists.

Prawut named the new suspect as Emrah Davutoglu. The warrant accused him of possessing "war materials." Emrah is the husband of a woman named Wanna Suansant sought by police in connection with the case.

Police on Monday issued arrest warrants against her and one male suspect after they seized bomb-making materials from the apartment here.

With the new developments, the probe into the mysterious bombing has gained momentum.

Two foreign men are now in custody - police have not confirmed their nationalities but they say the suspect held on Tuesday closely resembles a man wearing yellow seen on security camera footage leaving a bag at the shrine shortly before the blast.