Bangkok blast suspect 'unlikely' international terrorist, spurred by 'personal feud': Police

A Thai Royal Police handout photo showing an unidentified suspect, who used a false Turkish passport in the name Adem Karadag, in Bangkok, Thailand on Aug 29, 2015. PHOTO: THAI ROYAL POLICE

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thailand's top police officer on Saturday said a man arrested in connection with last week's deadly Bangkok bomb attack was "unlikely" to be an international terrorist and was motivated by a "personal feud".

"He is a foreigner, but it's unlikely that he is an international terrorist, it's a personal feud," national police chief Somyot Poompanmoung told reporters at the Royal Thai Police headquarters as broadcast live on Thai PBS.

"He got angry on behalf of his friends and family members," chief Somyot added, without elaborating further.

Neither chief Somyot nor Thailand's national police spokesman responded to calls from AFP for further comment on the nature of the suspect's motivations.

The bomb on Monday (Aug 17) was Thailand's worst single mass-casualty attack, killing 20 people, the majority of whom were ethnic Chinese tourists from across Asia.

Thailand's junta have been at pains to play down international terrorist groups as likely suspects, as well as suggestions that the attackers may have deliberately targeted a shrine known for its popularity with Chinese devotees.

The country's vital tourist sector is one of the few bright spots at a time when much of the rest of the kingdom's economy is flagging.

Potential perpetrators named by the police and experts have included international jihadists, members of Thailand's southern Malay-Muslim insurgency, militants on both sides of Thailand's festering political divide or someone with a personal grudge.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.