BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai security forces are hunting more than 10 suspects in connection with a series of bomb attacks in Bangkok last week, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha said on Monday.
Six bombs exploded in the Thai capital on Friday as the city hosted a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers. The meeting was also attended by top diplomats from the United States, China, and other major world powers.
Authorities now say that a total of six fire-bombs also went off on Friday in central Bangkok, including two that caused small fires in shopping malls in a central shopping district popular with tourists.
On Saturday, three more bombs also went off at three ATM machines in southern Pattani province on Saturday, no one was hurt or claimed responsibility for the attack.
“There are more than 10 people involved that need to be arrested, charged, and investigated for the cause (of the attack), “Prime Minister Prayuth said on Monday morning from Bangkok speaking to the press.
“We could not say at the moment who is behind the attack but they are heartless and mean with the aim to create chaos for the country at a time when things are proceeding under a democratic government,” he added.
Two men have been detained since Friday, accused of planting two bombs, which authorities earlier had said were fake, in front of the police headquarters in central Bangkok on Thursday, the day before the six bombings around Bangkok.
The two suspects are from Narathiwat, one of the largest Malay-Muslim provinces in Thailand’s deep south where more than a decade long insurgency has left nearly 7,000 people dead since 2004. They are being held in Yala, another southern province.
The violence has largely been confined to that region, although Muslim militants have been blamed for bomb attacks in the capital in the past.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.