Police: 2013 Ramkhamhaeng bomb possible link to attacks
Last week's multiple arson and bomb attacks in seven provinces could be linked to the May 26, 2013, bombing incident in Bangkok's Ramkhamhaeng area, said a member of the police team probing the incidents.
A connection between the Ramkhamhaeng incident and the attacks in Prachuap Khiri Khan, and six southern provinces last week, is suspected based on collected evidence, witness statements, and the interrogation of a man from Narathiwat's Rangae district, said the source.
Seven people were injured in the 2013 bombing in front of a beauty shop on Soi Ramkhamhaeng 43/1 in Bang Kapi district, and four suspects were last year each sentenced to 50 years in jail in connection with the attack.
The four convicted were Affaham Sa-a, Kamphi Latae and Ilroheng Vaemae, all Pattani residents, and Idris Sapator from Narathiwat.
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A connection between the group of suspects believed to be behind the new attacks in the seven provinces and the four convicted was also found in the ongoing investigation, said the source.
The investigation team now believes that Ahama Leng-ha, a resident of Narathiwat's Tak Bai district and a suspected separatist who is wanted in connection with several violent incidents in the deep South, was the person who assembled the bombs used in the new attacks.
Authorities found that a DNA sample collected from the Phuket blast last Wednesday matched ones taken from Mr Ahama. The military court of the 41st Military Circle has issued an arrest warrant for Mr Ahama.
Authorities compared the DNA sample with DNA samples collected from Mr Ahama twice when he was detained in 2004 and 2010, said the source.
Chakthip: Police probe nearly complete
The investigation team was trying to establish links between the arson and bomb attacks, said the first source.
The team was examining footage from security cameras positioned near the attacks as well as those installed at Hat Yai railway station in Songkhla province, said the source.
It is believed Hat Yai station was the point where the suspects began their journey to the seven provinces, the source said.
In Surat Thani, police have identified two male suspects believed to be behind the arson attack on a shop, said an informed source.
The two men resemble two suspects caught on camera sneaking into the shop to plant a firebomb, said the source.
They were also caught on CCTV travelling to the province and entering and leaving a Muslim community, said the source, adding that the two hid their faces throughout the trip by wearing a mask, hat and gloves.
Local investigators said Tuesday they are hoping to get an arrest warrant for the two suspects, but Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, a deputy national police chief who was in Surat Thani to follow up on the attack probe there, objected to the idea and requested they find more evidence.
National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said the probe into last week's attacks is nearly complete.
Another informed source said investigators are now focusing their attention on a list of 13 people believed to be behind last week's attacks.
There were a total of 13 bombing incidents that killed four people and injured 35 others in the seven provinces between Wednesday and Friday morning.