Thai police today confirmed that a man seen in CCTV wearing a yellow T-shirt and carrying a backpack was the bomber who killed at least 20 people in Bangkok.
Chilling footage shows the bespectacled terrorist calmly placing the bag on a bench next to the Erawan Hindu shrine minutes before the blast ripped through a crowd of worshippers.
‘The yellow shirt guy is not just the suspect. He is the bomber,’ Police Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri said.
The news comes as Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed that a British woman was killed in the attack.
Prawut earlier said the man ‘is a suspect’ and had released several photos of him, with and without the backpack, on a social media platform.
Thailand’s junta leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha described the blast as the ‘worst ever attack’ on the kingdom, adding that the suspect was believed to be from country’s north-east – the heartland of the anti-coup Red Shirt movement.
Meanwhile, fuelling tensions even further, a device was thrown into a canal and blew up near a busy train station in central Bangkok this afternoon, sending people running for cover.
Prayut also said he believed Facebook messages apparently warning of an imminent danger to Bangkok ahead of the bomb came from an ‘anti-government group’ based in that area.
‘We are looking for them now, some of them are in Isaan (northeastern Thailand),’ he added.
In a statement confirming that a British national was among the dead, Hammond said: ‘The loss of life and injury in Bangkok is horrific and I condemn this callous act of violence against completely innocent and unsuspecting members of the public.’
‘I can confirm that one British national, a resident of Hong Kong, lost her life in the attack. British Embassy staff in Thailand are assisting her family at this very difficult time. My thoughts are with the victims, their families and loved ones, and with the Thai people,’ he added.
‘Foreign Office officials are in close contact with the Thai authorities and have offered UK assistance in the investigation of this abhorrent act. British nationals in Thailand should check the Foreign Office website for the latest travel advice,’ Hammond went on to say.
David Cameron also offered his condolences, tweeting: ‘Deeply saddened to hear a British national was killed in the horrific Bangkok bombing. My thoughts are with her family & all those affected.’
Earlier, Prayut gave his first televised address since the bombing, saying the government will expedite ‘all investigative efforts to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice,’ but providing nothing specific about suspects or the status of the investigation.
National police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang said the suspect could be Thai or a foreigner.
‘That man was carrying a backpack and walked past the scene at the time of the incident. But we need to look at the before and after CCTV footage to see if there is a link,’ Somyot told a news conference.
Police earlier said they had not ruled out any group, although officials said the attack did not match the tactics of Muslim insurgents in the south.
More than 130 people were injured by the improvised explosive device, which scattered body parts, spattered blood, blasted windows and burned motorbikes to the metal.
Thai authorities identified five victims as Thai and four as Chinese – two of them from Hong Kong – along with two Malaysians and one Singaporean, and said the nationalities of the other eight victims remained unknown.
Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said the attack was aimed at destroying the country’s economy by targeting a major tourist area.
‘It is much clearer who the bombers are, but I can’t reveal more right now,’ Prawit said, as he headed into a Cabinet meeting Tuesday morning. ‘We haven’t ruled out terrorism.’
He acknowledged that authorities had no idea an attack was planned.
‘We didn’t know about this ahead of time. We had no intelligence on this attack,’ the defense minister said.
Meanwhile, raising tension in the city, a small explosive was thrown from a bridge over a river today but no one was injured, a police officer at the scene said.
The unidentified man threw the explosive near a busy pier on the city’s Chao Phraya river and it landed in a canal, said Colonel Natakit Siriwongtawan, deputy police chief of Klongsan district.
‘No one was killed or injured. Police are at the scene to investigate what kind of device it was,’ an officer at Yanawa police station, who asked not to be named.
He said the incident took place shortly after 1pm (6am BST) near the Saphan Taksin BTS skytrain station.
Read more: dailymail.co.uk
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