Police have identified and are hunting key suspects in the police flats-bombing in Narathiwat province and explosions on the Songkhla railway track late last year, according to the national police chief.
Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said during a visit to Narathiwat province on Monday that investigators had identified nine suspects in the police flats-bombing on Nov 22, and two of them had been arrested.
The arrested suspects, both 25, were Abdulmoobin Latay and Usman Sani. They confessed to their involvement in the flats bombing and said seven other people were also involved, according to the national police chief.
The bomb was in a pickup truck which Hasbulla Sani allegedly drove to the police flats compound in Muang district. Surveillance camera recordings allegedly showed the suspect left the area on a motorcycle after parking the black Isuzu pickup.
Mr Hasbulla and another man bought the truck, registered in Trang province, from the previous owner, a woman, in Muang district on Nov 5. The woman had advertised the vehicle for sale on Facebook. Its ownership had been transferred several times since 2021, Pol Gen Damrongsak said.
Surveillance footage showed the bombing suspects came from Tak Bai district of Narathiwat. They used six vehicles, and five of them had been seized, he said.
Narathiwat Provincial Court issued arrest warrants for Mr Abdulmoobin, Mr Usman and Mr Hasbulla, and for six other suspects - Abdulmatin Mama, Abdulhafis Duereh, Wafee Sapadee, Isal Salae, Saipurusman Mama and Muhammadhafis Jedueramae, the national police chief said.
The police flats-bombing on Nov 22 killed one policeman and injured 25 others and 18 members of their families, and damaged 70 rooms and a large quantity of personal belongings, he said.
Booby traps were used for the bombings on the railway track in Sadao district of Songkhla last month, Pol Gen Damrongsak said and police believed they were the work of a group led by security suspect Asman Pohloh, who was also wanted for violent incidents in 2021.
The first bombing was on Dec 3 on the track between Khlong Ngae and Padang Besar railway stations. It derailed a freight train and cargo was damaged. No one was injured.
The second explosion occurred nearby on Dec 6 while railway crews were salvaging the train. It killed three workers and injured four others.
Pol Gen Damrongsak said Jirasak Pengloh told police after his arrest on Feb 3, 2022, that he and Mr Asman were ordered to survey railway tracks from Hat Yai district to Padang Besar to plan a bombing.
Police also had a witness who met Mr Asman and another man while they were riding a motorcycle away from the bombing scene about 30 minutes before the first explosion, the national police chief said.
Investigators already had an arrest warrant for Mr Asman and were compiling a case to support an application for court warrants for other suspects, Pol Gen Damrongsak said.