Suspects surrender: Bangkok Bomb Suspects
Published: August 20, 2015
Suspects surrender: Bangkok Bomb Suspects, Two men identified as suspects in the Bangkok bombing have been cleared of involvement, police say.
The pair were filmed by security cameras standing near the prime suspect in Monday’s blast at the Erawan Shrine, which killed 20 people.
A police spokesman said they were now satisfied the men – a Chinese tourist and his Thai guide – were not involved.
The main suspect remains at large, but authorities told the BBC they believe he is still in Thailand.
Dozens of people were injured in the explosion, with some losing limbs.
Police had said that at least 10 people were suspected of involvement in the attack, and that their prime target was foreign.
The two former suspects, wearing red and white t-shirts, were captured standing in front of the main suspect, in yellow, as he left his backpack under a bench at the scene.
The footage led police to believe the pair may have been the attacker’s accomplices.
The remains of some of the victims have been released to their families But one of the men “met police and was released”, according to police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri.
He told them he had taken the Chinese man to the Erawan shrine on behalf of a mutual friend.
Earlier reports suggested both of the men had presented themselves for questioning.
But the Chinese national returned home a day after the bomb, Mr Thavornsiri said.
Neither were “likely involved”, he added.
Thai police released this sketch of the “man in yellow”, suspected of planting the bomb Images released by Thai police show him in a tuk-tuk near the shrine before the bombing… … and riding away from the scene afterwards on the back of a motorcycle taxi Earlier on Thursday, Col Winthai Suvaree, a spokesman for the ruling military junta, said the preliminary conclusion was that it was “unlikely” the attack was the work of an international terror group.
However, he later told Associated Press that a global terrorism link had not been ruled out, saying: “We still have to investigate in more detail.”
The BBC’s Jonathan Head in Bangkok says police are also questioning a tuk-tuk taxi driver who drove the main suspect to the shrine, but are making slow progress in identifying the name and nationality of the man in yellow.
He adds that, although the shrine has been cleaned up, a BBC team was still able to find bomb shrapnel embedded in a wall nearby, suggesting the forensic teams have not yet collected all possible evidence from the area.
No-one has yet said they carried out the attack.
National police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang said he believed the attack was planned at least a month in advance.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has called the bombing the “worst ever attack” on Thailand.
Twelve of the 20 dead in Monday’s attack were foreigners, including nationals from China, Hong Kong, the UK, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
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