Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday blamed a small group of military officers of plotting to kill him with a powerful bomb that police discovered near his home.
Police defused a potent mix of TNT, plastic explosives, fertilizer and fuel oil found yesterday in the trunk of a car at an intersection near Thaksin's home, which they said was a foiled attempt to kill the prime minister.
An army officer was arrested shortly after the bomb was found and charged with illegal possession of explosives, prompting Thaksin to sack a top general.
"There are three to four military officers involved in the assassination plot. Some of them are retired," Thaksin said.
"We know which group made (the bomb) and more suspects will be arrested," he said.
But the billionaire prime minister said that no link had been discovered between the plot and retired general Chamlong Srimuang, who helped spearhead months of anti-Thaksin protests that rattled Bangkok earlier this year.
Thaksin said his security team had spotted the car carrying the bomb at least twice in the last two weeks.
The premier and other top officials tried to quash speculation in the Thai media that the bomb scare might have been a political stunt.
"If somebody had made this story up, no one would have been arrested. Eventually the police investigation will prove it," Thaksin said.
Defence Minister General Thammarak Isarangkun told reporters that the bomb was part of a plot to assassinate Thaksin and to bring down the government.