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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bangkok panicked by string of blasts; suspect wounded


An explosive device he was carrying detonated in a residential area of the Thai capital. The city has been on edge since the United States last month warned of a threat of a terrorist strike on Bangkok s tourist areas, but it was unclear whether there was any link. Bomb squad investigators rushed to the scene after three men were seen fleeing after a blast at a house in the Sukhumvit Road area in the east of Bangkok. One of the men hurled an explosive device at a taxi which refused to stop and later tried to throw another device at police, triggering a blast on the side of a busy road which tore off his legs, authorities said. "An Iranian ID was found with the injured man so it s likely that he s an Iranian national," Major General Pisit Pisuthisak, deputy commander of Bangkok Metropolitan Police, told AFP by telephone from the scene. "A police forensics team is examining the house," he added. Police later used a high pressure water cannon to defuse another device found inside the building. The injured man was admitted to a Bangkok hospital where he was receiving emergency treatment. Authorities later said they had detained an Iranian man at Bangkok s Suvarnabhumi Airport for questioning but it was not immediately clear if he was one of the two other suspects, whose motives were unclear. Police were searching for the third man. Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra urged people not to "jump to conclusions" about the circumstances behind the blasts. "Let the police and intelligence agencies do their work and the public must not panic because the perpetrator was detained," she told reporters during a visit to northeast Thailand. Last month Thai police later charged a Lebanese suspected of planning an attack in Bangkok after they raided a property and discovered chemicals that could be used to make a bomb. Thai authorities alleged the Lebanese man had links to Hezbollah.

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