Police: 20 trained southern Muslims did tourist bombings

Police: 20 trained southern Muslims did tourist bombings

National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda says at least 20 trained men from the southern border provinces were involved in the Aug 11-12 attacks that killed four people and 37 others. (Bangkok Post file photo)
National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda says at least 20 trained men from the southern border provinces were involved in the Aug 11-12 attacks that killed four people and 37 others. (Bangkok Post file photo)

At least 20 people, most of them Muslims and from the insurgency-plagued South, were involved in the deadly bombings in seven provinces early this month, national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda said on Monday.

Pol Gen Chakthip said police know the meeting points of all the suspects and their travel routes before and after their bombing missions.

Most of the perpetrators were followers of Islam from the three Muslim-dominated southern border provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani. Many of them were previously unknown to police, but others were linked to violent attacks in the southernmost provinces.

He refused to comment whether any had dual Thai-Malaysian citizenship.

“The incidents appear to be the work of the new generation, as we have had no profiles of several of them. The veterans [from the southern separatist movement] may have played a supportive role. This makes the investigation quite difficult,” Pol Gen Chakthip told a media briefing. 

“Officials, however, have evidence that there are more than 20 people in this network. We believe all of them received trining before carrying out the coordinated attacks.”

Pol Gen Chakthip said he did not rule out any motive, whether the draft constitution referendum or the escalation of violence from the Southern region, adding that the group "might have been hired" by others to carry out the attacks.

No group has claimed responsibility for the Aug 11-12 arson and bombings which occurred in seven provinces and targeted key tourist areas, killing four people and injuring 37 others -  26 Thais and 11 foreigners.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said a meeting on compensation for the victims resolved on Monday to offer 1.18 million baht to the family of each of the deceased, a similar amount paid to those killed in the Erawan shrine bombing at Ratchaprasong intersection last August.

The government will pay all medical bills for the injured people and restitution for damage caused to private residences and assets. The injured would also receive redress and other compensation for lack of income and inability to work. The same criteria will be applied  for the 11 foreigners injured by the explosions, who may also receive additional payment for travel expenses.        

The 11 injured foreign tourists are from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria. One has been released from hospital and already left Thailand, Mr Wissanu said.


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