Govt says city bombing plot proof 'solid'

Govt says city bombing plot proof 'solid'

Security authorities have solid evidence to prove the five people detained previously on suspicion of being involved in a bomb plot in Bangkok were linked to the foiled attack plan, the government said yesterday.

Citing results of a preliminary investigation, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the five were poised to assemble pipe bombs for use in attacks to be carried out in Bangkok and its suburbs.

"We would not have taken action [against these suspects] if we didn't have solid evidence [to prove their involvement in the bomb plot]," he said, adding the public should not panic as security forces and intelligence officials are doing their duty.

The five suspects were among 14 people detained in several raids on suspicion of being part of the car bomb attack plot, said Thawip Netniyom, secretary-general of the National Security Council yesterday.

Nine have since been released but the others are still in military custody. Authorities have information to believe the five suspects were connected to a plot designed to stir up unrest and they were preparing the pipe bombs for use in the attacks in Bangkok and nearby provinces, said Mr Thawip.

They all reside in the southernmost provinces and were initially detained in relation to inquiries into the southern violence, he said.

Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul confirmed on Monday last week police had received intelligence on possible attacks in three locations from Oct 25-30 in the capital and nearby provinces.

That prompted a security beef-up in the capital and surrounding provinces.

Police arrested a man at a rented room in Bang Sao Thong district on Monday on suspicion of planning to detonate three car bombs in greater Bangkok later this month.

Mr Thawip said forensic testing was under way to determine whether the items seized were chemical precursors to be used in a bomb.

Police and soldiers seized phones, wires and four boxes of what were believed to be bomb components from the unidentified suspect's room.

Gen Prawit also urged members of the public to immediately report any suspicious incidents.

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