- Asian Games 2018 Day 2 Live updates Live streaming: Vinesh Phogat wins gold; Deepak Kumar, Lakshay Sheoran take silver
- India vs England 3rd Test Day 3, Live Cricket Score Streaming, Ind vs Eng Live Score: Kohli, Pujara put India on top
- PM Modi writes to Imran Khan, hopes for 'peaceful engagement' with Pakistan
Thai police arrested a foreign suspect and seized bomb-making materials Saturday in the investigation of the bombing of a shrine in central Bangkok that killed 20 people, officials said.
“It is most likely he is related to the bombing at Rajaprasong,” deputy police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said of the suspect. The blast at the Erawan Shrine in the commercial Rajaprasong district of the capital on August 17 also left more than 120 people injured.
The man was arrested in Nong Jok on the outskirts of eastern Bangkok. Chakthip said, “We found bomb materials in his apartment.”
- Thailand: Bangkok shrine bomb trial postponed due to missing translator
- Bangkok bombing: Thai police seek 10th suspect in deadly blast
- Thai police arrest foreigner, find passports in Bangkok shrine blast case
- Bangkok bombing: Thai police seek Interpol help to track Erawan shrine blast suspect
- Bangkok blast: Thai authorities launch hunt for male ‘suspect’
- Bangkok blast: 27 die in rush-hour blast at shrine in city’s heart
National police spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri said that the arrested person is a foreigner, but refused to say if he was Turkish, as was reported by some local news organizations.
He said a news conference was planned later Saturday.
The blast at the Erawan Shrine was unprecedented in the Thai capital, where smaller bombs have been employed in domestic political violence over the past decade, but not in an effort to cause large-scale casualties.
The shrine is a popular tourist destination, particularly with Chinese visitors, who represent an important segment of the lucrative tourist market. At least six of the dead were from China and Hong Kong. It is located in a neighborhood full of upscale shopping malls and five-star hotels.
Soon after the bombing, police released an artist’s sketch of a man seen in a security camera video leaving a backpack at a bench then walking away from the open-air shrine. A separate camera showed the man, wearing a yellow T-shirt, on the back of a motorcycle taxi leaving the site.
An arrest warrant earlier had described the unknown suspect as a “foreign man,” although a military spokesman said a connection to international terrorism seemed unlikely.
No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, sparking a variety of theories into who might be behind it.
Possible suspects include parties seeking to avenge Thailand’s forced repatriation of ethnic Uighurs to China, Muslim separatists from southern Thailand, opponents of Thailand’s military government and feuding factions within the security services.
Criticism of the police investigation has been strong because few facts were clearly established, including the type of explosives used in the bombs. Authorities were also accused of rapidly hosing down the crime scene at the shrine before all forensic evidence was recovered so it could be reopened to reassure the public — especially foreign tourists — that security in the city was back to normal.
Police say they have been handicapped by low-quality and broken surveillance cameras and a lack of sophisticated image-processing equipment to enhance the video they do have.