Nabbed suspect admits he was at bomb scene

Nabbed suspect admits he was at bomb scene

The suspect arrested in Sa Kaeo province has admitted to being at the Erawan shrine bombing scene but denied placing the bomb, deputy police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said on Wednesday.

The foreign man, whose identity has yet to be confirmed, was arrested in Sa Kaeo province trying to sneak through forest into Cambodia on Tuesday.

Pol Gen Chakthip said the man confessed during interrogation that he had been at the bomb scene near the time of the explosion, but denied he had placed the bomb.

However, results of the investigation still pointed to the possibility the suspect was the Erawan shrine bomber, he said.

The suspect carried a passport which identified him as an ethnic Uighur and interrogation required a Turkish translator, said the deputy police chief, who will become the new police chief in October.

The suspect answered some questions and police learned he often travelled between Thailand and Cambodia, Pol Gen Chakthip said.

The deputy police chief also said the suspect was connected to the first bombing suspect arrested in Bangkok's Nong Chok district last Saturday. They had stayed together, but he had yet to reveal his network.

Police had not ruled out any motive for the two bombings in Bangkok -- at the Erawan shrine on Aug 17 and at Sathon pier on Aug 18. Possible motives included local and political factors and the early exclusion of any possible motive could lead police down the wrong path, Pol Gen Chakthip said.

He added that investigators' progress in the case had been quick and impressive.

Thai media outlets reported earlier that the suspect carried a Chinese passport in the name Yusufu Mieraili of Xinjiang province, and posted photographs of it online. It has not been confirmed if the passport was genuine.

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