Thai police release sketch of suspected ‘foreign’ bomber
Thai police on Wednesday released a sketch of a young bespectacled “foreign man” who carried out the devastating bombing at Lord Brahma temple here and is believed to be part of a network while announcing a reward of 1 million baht ($28,000) for information leading to his arrest.
An arrest warrant was also issued against the suspected youth who was captured on CCTV wearing a yellow T-shirt and placing a backpack on a bench inside the Erawan Brahma Temple’s compound before walking out just before the explosions on Monday that killed at least 20 people.
The sketch shows a young man in black-rimmed eyeglasses with bushy, dark hair and a light complexion. The warrant issued by Bangkok’s Southern Criminal Court describes him as tall, with a pointed nose and thick lips.
He faces six charges including conspiring to commit premeditated murder and conspiring to commit a bombing that resulted in death and severe injuries. The sketch of the suspect is based on the CCTV footage and a description provided by a motorcycle taxi driver who is believed to have given him a ride on Monday night.
The detailed sketch is the strongest lead yet in the country’s “worst ever attack” in which nine foreigners and 11 others were killed and over 120 others injured, mostly Chinese.
National police chief General Somyot Poompanmuang said that the suspect looks like a “foreign man” but was not sure about his origins. The suspect might have been in a disguise and wearing a fake nose to conceal his identity, Somyot said. “If citizens or anyone can give us information or clues that lead to the arrest of this man, I have set a reward of 1 million baht,” Somyot said, adding that police believe the bomber worked with accomplices. “He didn’t do it alone, for sure. It’s a network,” Somyot said.
Police spokesman Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri said the CCTV video appears to show two possible accomplices standing in front of the man who are also considered suspects.
Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday urged bombers who attacked Bangkok this week to turn themselves in for their own safety, saying, otherwise, they could be killed. The bombers could be murdered by the masterminds who hired them to set off explosives at the Erawan shrine and Sathorn pier, Gen Prayut said.
An explosive device was hurled at Bangkok’s Sathorn pier on <g data-gr-id="53">Tuesday</g> but it caused no injuries or damage as it bounced into the water and exploded there.
Thai Brahma temple reopens for worshippers and tourists
Thailand’s Erawan Brahma temple, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok, was reopened on Wednesday for worshippers and tourists three days after a blast at the shrine killed 20 people, as police intensified their hunt for a suspect believed to be the bomber.
Buddhist monks led prayers at the shrine as it reopened this morning while devotees laid bundles of clothes to represent the lost loved ones. The powerful blast on Monday evening killed 20 people at the shrine, situated at the corner of a busy intersection dotted with <g data-gr-id="57">high end</g> shopping malls and luxury hotels.
Nine foreigners were killed in the attack, which was described by authorities as the “worst” in Thai history.
Meanwhile, seven bodies remained unidentified in the wake of <g data-gr-id="56">bloody</g> bomb blast, Nation newspaper reported. Authorities were still struggling to identify seven of the dead. Four were women, one a girl, and another a man. The seventh body was beyond recognition.
Meanwhile, security officials intensified their hunt for a man in a yellow T-shirt who was captured by a CCTV camera putting his backpack under a bench at the shrine and leaving the scene shortly before the blast. A motorcycle taxi man told police that the suspect hired him for a drop to the nearby business district of Silom.
National police chief General Somyot Poompanmuang said the suspect may have been wearing a wig to disguise himself and may not have been acting alone. Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-O-cha on Tuesday vowed to capture the bomber and asked media not to speculate.
The authorities are still waiting for <g data-gr-id="54">lab-test</g> results before confirming the type of bomb that was used to stage the attack. Tests can identify the type of gunpowder from soot found on victims’ clothes and tissue,” media quoted unnamed sources as saying.