Bangkok bomber whereabouts remain a mystery one week on | News | DW | 24.08.2015
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Bangkok bomber whereabouts remain a mystery one week on

Police said the trail had gone cold in the hunt for the bomber a week after 20 people were killed in Thailand's worst ever bomb attack. Investigators are unsure if the chief suspect is still in the country.

One week after last Monday's bombing at the capital's center, which left 20 people dead and scores injured, Thai police appeared no closer to tracking down suspects or determining a motive for the attack.

Amidst the ongoing search, police found and defused a grenade at a construction site in Bangkok, but said it was unlikely to be linked to the pipe bomb that blew up August 17 in one of the city's most famous shrines.

"We received reports this afternoon of a bomb in Sukhumvit 81," Kamthorn Aucharoen, commander of the police's explosive ordnance team, said, referring to a road off of one of Bangkok's main thoroughfares. He added that they don't know where the bomb came from but that authorities "do not think it has anything to do with last week's bombing."

The hunt for those responsible for the August 17 attack is still on, police were unsure if the chief suspect is still in the country. The main evidence for last week's attacks is security camera footage, which shows the suspected bomber slipping off a backpack and walking away.

Thailand Bombenanschlag Bangkok Polizei

Policemen check security at bars in Bangkok's tourist area

The young man with a yellow shirt and dark hair was also caught on closed circuit television (CCTV) camera leaving the scene on the back of a motorcycle taxi. But after that, there was very little, police said.

"In terms of the CCTV cameras, some don't capture images properly and some were damaged which is a waste of time for police piecing together where the suspect went," national police chief Somyot Poompanmuang told reporters. "You want the truth? We don't know if the suspect is still in Thailand but I have to assume he still is because we've got no information that he left."

Unlikely to be international terrorism

The attack has raised concerns about safety in the capital, which attracts millions of tourists, and has left the city on edge. Police have responded to several calls about unattended bags, which turned out to be false alarms, and have tried to reassure the public and international community that Bangkok is safe. Thai authorities say international terrorists were probably not behind the attack, but that least 10 people appear to be involved in the bombing.

"Security agencies have cooperated with agencies from allied countries and have come to the preliminary conclusion that the incident is unlikely to be linked to international terrorism," Colonel Winthai Suvaree, a spokesman for Thailand's ruling junta, known as the National Council for Peace and Order, told reporters.

dr/msh (AP, Reuters)

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