Court orders one Bangkok bombing suspects detained


A court in Thailand on Saturday approved the detention of one of the suspects in connection with an August 17 bombing at a Hindu temple in Bangkok that killed 20 and injured scores.

The suspect – who held a fake Turkish passport – had been held and interrogated at a military base north of Bangkok for the last week.

The foreign man, whose identity has yet to be verified, will be detained at a prison in eastern Bangkok for 12 days before the court has to decide again whether the detention period has to be extended.

The unidentified suspect was arrested last Saturday in an apartment raid. Authorities found bomb-making materials and stacks of fake Turkish passports.

He was the first suspect to be arrested in connection with the bomb attack. His arrest led to another apartment raid last Sunday where more bomb-making materials were found.

A second suspect – identified by authorities as Chinese citizen Yusufu Mieraili – was arrested Tuesday near the Thai-Cambodian border.

DNA samples taken from this suspect – thought to have been the person who planted the bomb – did not match those found in a taxi, on a banknote and a backpack presumed to have carried the bomb.

However he was believed to be involved in the bombing, according to police spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri.

His fingerprints do match those found on bomb-making materials in an apartment raided at the weekend.

The results of fingerprints and DNA samples show that the prime suspect, who is seen in surveillance camera footage putting down a backpack and leaving the shrine few minutes before the explosion, is still at large.

So far in the investigation, nine arrest warrants have been issued with a 10th warrant sought by the police.

Security analysts said the bombing in central Bangkok did not fit the pattern of local and regional terrorist groups.

Some speculated that the most likely culprits were Turkish far-right groups unhappy with Thailand’s deportation of Uighur refugees to China in July.

Uighurs are a Muslim ethnic minority in north-western China who speak a language related to Turkish.