Samui, Hua Hin blasts 'linked'

Samui, Hua Hin blasts 'linked'

Court grants warrants for three suspects

Captured on CCTV the afternoon of the Mother's Day bombs in Hua Hin, this man now is Thailand's Most Wanted after police linked him to last year's Koh Samui mall bomb as well. (Courtesy Royal Thai Police, via Post Today)
Captured on CCTV the afternoon of the Mother's Day bombs in Hua Hin, this man now is Thailand's Most Wanted after police linked him to last year's Koh Samui mall bomb as well. (Courtesy Royal Thai Police, via Post Today)

Police believe a man named in a new arrest warrant for deadly explosions in Prachuap Khiri Khan's Hua Hin this month was also involved in the car bombing in Surat Thani's Samui resort island last year.

Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul was speaking Monday just as the Military Court at the 15th Military Circle in Phetchaburi approved an arrest warrant against Asameen Gatem-madee, a Pattani resident.

Mr Asameen faces charges of possessing explosive devices and attempted arson attacks. Pol Gen Srivara said the suspect is also wanted under a warrant approved in May last year by the Koh Samui provincial court for premeditated murder, possessing bombs and causing explosions which harm others.

Seven people, including a 12-year-old Italian girl, were wounded as the explosion damaged about 10 vehicles in the basement car park of Central Festival Samui on the resort island on April 10 last year.

He also faces a separate charge of violating the emergency decree under the warrant approved by the Yala court in April last year.

Implicated in the Samui bombing, the suspect appears to be skilled in launching attacks designed to cause sabotage, the deputy police chief said.

Three perpetrators were believed to be behind the Hua Hin bombings, which killed two and injured dozens in central Hua Hin, he said.

The attacks were among the series of bomb and arson attacks in seven provinces on Aug 11-12. Images of the trio were captured on CCTV cameras.

Rusalan Baima, a Songkhla resident, is also believed to be one of the three suspects, and a warrant for his arrest has been issued.

Work is under way to identify another suspect, Pol Gen Srivara said.

The investigation found the perpetrators had split into teams to carry out attacks in each province and they were all connected, he said, adding the attackers are from the three southernmost provinces.

Pol Gen Srivara said police have not yet figured out the motive of the attacks in the seven provinces.

He said whether the attacks were driven by the southern insurgents cannot be ascertained at this point in time, noting the southern insurgents usually stage violence in their own areas.

Questions have been raised by authorities as to why the attacks were launched outside their familiar areas this time, if it was indeed the southern insurgents.

Three arrest warrants have been approved so far for suspects linked to the attacks.

Another warrant has been issued for Ahama Lenga, a native of Narathiwat's Tak Bai district, who police believe was behind the bombings in Phuket.

Several people thought to be connected to the attacks were brought in for questioning but the trio facing warrants were not among them, said Pol Gen Srivara. However, police insist they ae making steady progress on the probe.


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