Key suspect in Pattani bombing arrested

 Thai army investigators at the site where a bomb was detonated in  Pattani.
Thai army investigators at the site where a bomb was detonated in Pattani. PHOTO: AFP

PATTANI • A key suspect has been arrested in connection with Tuesday's car bombing of a Big C superstore in Thailand's Pattani province as an extensive manhunt continued for eight others, reported the Bangkok Post.

The local authorities said yesterday that Suhaimee Sama-ae was apprehended in Pattani's Nong Chik district on Thursday night.

They said he had confessed he was involved in the attack, and had implicated eight others in the plot.

The arrest was announced at a news briefing attended by provincial Governor Veeranan Pengchan, Pattani Special Task Force commander Jatuporn Kalamphasut and Pattani provincial police chief Piyawat Chalermsri.

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Mr Piyawat alleged that Suhaimee was part of the group that held up and murdered pickup truck owner Nusorn Khachornkham and stole his vehicle.

The truck was then packed with explosives and used in the car-bomb attack that left more than 60 people wounded at Big C Supercentre on Tuesday afternoon. Mr Nusorn's body was found dumped in Nong Chik district on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Piyawat said police were applying for arrest warrants for those believed to be involved in the bombing.

The eight others implicated by Mr Suhaimee have outstanding warrants for their arrest in connection with previous violence in Pattani and Yala provinces, officials said.

They were identified as Anuwa Kaso, Ruslan Baimat, Maolana Samoh, Isma-ae Mosu, Bukkolee Lamsoh, Abdulasi Japakeeya, Manase Saidee and Muhammad Kaso.

Two of seven other people who were earlier detained for questioning- a religious leader and a local tambon, or sub-district leader - gave "useful information" to investigators, reported the Bangkok Post.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2017, with the headline 'Key suspect in Pattani bombing arrested'. Print Edition | Subscribe