Thailand seeks more than 10 suspects for series of bombs in Bangkok

A member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit inspects a suspicious object on Silom Road in Bangkok on Aug 2, 2019. Six bombs exploded in the Thai capital last Friday, and the authorities now say six other fire-bombs also went off that day. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thai security forces are hunting more than 10 suspects in connection with a series of bomb attacks in Bangkok last week, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Monday (Aug 5).

Six bombs exploded in the Thai capital last Friday as the city hosted a meeting of South-east Asian foreign ministers, which was also attended by top diplomats from the United States, China, and other world powers.

The authorities now say that six other fire-bombs also went off last Friday in central Bangkok, including two that caused fires in shopping malls in a central shopping district popular with tourists.

Last Saturday, three more bombs also went off at three ATM machines in southern Pattani province. There were no injuries. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

"There are more than 10 people involved that need to be arrested, charged, and investigated for the cause (of the attack)," Mr Prayut said.

"We could not say at the moment who is behind the attack but they are heartless and mean with the aim to create chaos for the country at a time when things are proceeding under a democratic government," he said.

Two men have been detained since last Friday, accused of planting two bombs, which the authorities had earlier said were fake, in front of the police headquarters in central Bangkok a day earlier.

The two suspects are from Narathiwat, one of the largely Malay-Muslim provinces in Thailand's deep south where more than a decade-long insurgency has left nearly 7,000 people dead since 2004. They are being held in Yala, another southern province.

The violence has largely been confined to that region, although Muslim militants have been blamed for bomb attacks in the capital in the past.

Reuters could not immediately reach the two suspects or their lawyers for comment. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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