In what was described as the worst terrorist attack in Thailand by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, the Bangkok bombing has claimed the lives of 22 people, including tourists.
“This is the worst incident that has ever happened in Thailand. There have been minor bombs or just noise, but this time they aim for innocent lives. They want to destroy our economy, our tourism.”
The popular tourist attraction, the Erawan Hindu shrine, was the target of the bombing. Thailand police has refused to rule out any group as possible suspects, especially given the toxic political history.
The National Police Chief, Somyot Pumpanmuang, told journalists that, “Police are not ruling out anything, including (Thai) politics and the conflict of ethnic Uighurs who, before this, Thailand sent back to China.”
The police are now relying on surveillance and members of the public to hand in their video coverage of the bombing. Bangkok has been a target for such unrest and political unrest.
Somyot Pumpanmuang said that a young male, seen in some footages of the Bangkok bombing, could be a suspect and is unsure whether he is Thai or foreign.
“That man was carrying a backpack and walked past the scene at the time of the incident. But we need to look at the before and after CCTV footage to see if there is a link,” Somyot told a news conference.
CCTV footage, which was broadcast on Thai media, shows the young man in a yellow T-shirt and shorts sitting on a bench and taking off a large, black backpack. He then stands up and walks away before checking his phone.
“The yellow-shirt guy is not just the suspect. He is the bomber,” Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri, a police spokesman, told the Associated Press.
Police earlier said they had not ruled out any group, including known groups that are loyal to the Shinawatra family or even Muslim radicals for the Bangkok bombing at the shrine. But, such cases are unprecedented.
[Photo by Nicolas Axelrod / Getty Images]