Bangkok bomb: Second foreign suspect arrested
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- From the sectionAsia
The suspect was arrested in Sa Kaeo province, east of Bangkok on the border with CambodiaBangkok bomb
A second foreign suspect has been arrested in connection with the deadly bombing at a Bangkok shrine in August, the Thai prime minister has said.The male suspect was arrested in Sa Kaeo province, east of Bangkok on the border with Cambodia, Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters.He described the man as "a main suspect".A foreign man was arrested in Bangkok on Saturday over the blast at Erawan shrine, which killed 20 people.Thai military authorities have been interrogating the 28-year-old man, but they have not yet released his name or nationality.Bomb-making materials and forged passports were found at the apartment where he was detained in Nong Jok on the outskirts of Bangkok, and he has been charged with possessing illegal explosives, police said.It is unclear whether either of the two arrested men are the suspect seen on a security camera leaving a backpack at the crowded shrine shortly before the bombing on 17 August.Thai authorities have issued three more arrest warrants - making seven in total.The Thai investigation into the Bangkok bombing is gaining momentum, says the BBC's Jonathan Head.The latest developments in this case suggest police are dealing with a militant network - a network that could have been planning more attacks, he says.But the motive for the bombing - unprecedented in its scale in Thai history - is still unknown, although several analysts have suggested it may be linked to the deportation of Muslim Uighurs from Thailand to China.'The key suspect'
"We have arrested one more, he is not a Thai," Mr Prayuth told journalists after his weekly cabinet meeting.Images of the detainee in military custody showed a tall, thin man with trimmed facial hair, wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap.Authorities said he was carrying a Chinese passport.Asked whether he is thought to be the person who planted the bomb, Mr Prayuth replied: "We are interrogating. He is a main suspect and a foreigner."At a press conference, Thailand's national police spokesman Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri confirmed that police were "confident that he is the key suspect" and was believed to have been involved in the network that staged the attacks.He said the man was intercepted as he attempted to cross the border illegally into Cambodia, and was currently being held without charge. He added that the man spoke to officers in English.The passport purportedly carried by the man shows his place of birth as the Chinese province of Xinjiang, which has a significant Muslim Uighur population and where Beijing has repressed popular resistance to its rule.Thailand controversially repatriated more than 100 Uighur Muslims to China in July.Thai authorities have also released details of the three new suspects for whom they have issued arrest warrants. One suspect is an unidentified Turkish man, another a foreign man named Ahmet Bozoglan and a third a foreign man named Ali Jolan.
Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri holds a picture of an unnamed Turkish man wanted by police
He also presented a sketch of a foreign suspect, "Ali Jolan", along with another foreign man, "Ahmet Bozoglan"
All face charges of illegally possessing explosives.Woman 'innocent'
On Monday, Thai police issued arrest warrants for two suspects - a 26-year-old Thai Muslim woman, Wanna Suansan, and an unnamed foreign man.However, a woman who claims to be Ms Suansan told a reporter she was living in Turkey and had last been in Thailand three months ago.
A woman claiming to be Wanna Suansan - the sole named suspect in the bombing - has said she is innocent and living in Turkey
Speaking to AFP news agency by telephone, the woman said she was living in the central Turkish city of Kayseri with her husband and that she was "shocked" to have been named as a suspect.
Also on Tuesday, police said they had transferred 16 officers - including senior officers - from their posts in Bangkok districts for negligence.An additional six immigration officers were transferred from their posts in Sa Kaeo, where Tuesday's arrest took place, reported Reuters news agency.Police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang said the immigration officers had been transferred because it had emerged that foreigners had been able to enter the country illegally, Reuters quoted him as saying.The transfers came just a day after the same police chief said he would reward his own men for making the first arrest.
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