Unexploded firebomb linked to Bangkok blasts found

BANGKOK • The Thai authorities recovered an unexploded firebomb at a market in central Bangkok yesterday in what they said was a device left over from coordinated attacks last week that wounded four people.

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

The Thai police said the newly discovered firebomb at the Pratunam market in central Bangkok was similar to those set off last Friday.

"The device functioned, but the fire did not catch because it was hidden underneath a pile of clothes so there was not enough oxygen for the fire," a police officer told Reuters on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

"The device is timer-triggered and is attached to a power bank, the same sort that was used in last week's attacks, and it was likely placed around the same time as the other devices," he said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the authorities have detained nine suspects, including two men who were arrested last Friday, accused of planting two bombs in front of the police headquarters in central Bangkok a day earlier.

The two suspects are from Narathiwat province, one of the largely Malay-Muslim provinces in Thailand's deep south where an insurgency over a decade long has left nearly 7,000 people dead since 2014.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters that last Friday's coordinated attacks were "linked to a southern group", but he did not elaborate on the details, saying more investigation is needed to determine who ordered the attack.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2019, with the headline 'Unexploded firebomb linked to Bangkok blasts found'. Print Edition | Subscribe