Bangkok bomb suspect arrested

19 Dec 2011

Police in Bangkok announced that they have arrested a man they believe had planted bombs in Bangkok on Friday morning. Chalerm Yubamrung, deputy Thai prime minister, chaired a media meeting later on Friday at which he named Jirawat Chanpeng as the man behind the bombs.

Mr Yubamrung said that the Sakon Nakhon native had been apprehended on Soi Kanchanapisek and stood accused of placing bombs in the Lat Krabang area of the Thai capital. Chanpeng is purported to have planted six explosive devices, none of which actually exploded.

The deputy PM said he had been told by government explosives disposal officers the bombs indicated a higher level of expertise than that usually found in home-made devices. On this evidence, police investigators say they have concluded that more than one person was involved in constructing the bombs.

The deputy chief of the Bangkok Metropolitan Police, Anuchai Lekbamrung, has been assigned the task of investigating the bombs further. He will head up a team tasked with hunting down Chanpeng’s accomplices and checking for any hidden political agenda behind the bombs.

Police officers say that the accused bomb constructor denies any links with bombs found in Bangkok earlier this month. On 6 December, an unexploded bomb was found outside a government office on Ratchadamneon Avenue.

The deputy PM finished the press briefing by saying police officers in Bangkok would try to ensure that New Year celebrations would go ahead as planned. On 31 December 2006, eight bombs were detonated at various times over the evening in Bangkok, killing three people and injuring almost 40.

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