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Fake bomb found near Thai premier's house

Cops said a car battery, a clock and fuses were found in a paper bag near Thaksin's residence in Bangkok.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 12:39 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

A fake bomb was found on Monday near Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's home, days after police foiled an alleged assassination attempt on the embattled caretaker premier.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Prathan Jamduang said a car battery, a clock and fuses were found in a paper bag outside a Siam Commercial Bank branch about 500 metres from Thaksin's residence in Bangkok.

An insulting message for the premier was written on the bag, said Prathan, who refused to repeat the insult because of its crudeness.

The bomb scare follows an alleged bomb attempt on Thaksin's life on Thursday when police arrested an army lieutenant in a rented car packed with explosives, parked on a route the prime minister was scheduled to take that morning.

Bangkok residents have greeted the alleged assassination attempt with great scepticism.

According to an opinion poll by Bangkok University, some 49.9 per cent of 1,174 people in the capital said the Thursday bomb attempt was a set-up.

Police arrested Army Lieutenant Thawatcahi Klinchana, who was driving the car with the bomb materials, but have only charged him with unlawful possession of explosives.

An investigation is underway to find the mastermind behind the bomb hoax.

The incident comes at a time when Thaksin, Thailand's premier since 2001, is facing criticism for attacks made by his supporters on anti-Thaksin protestors last week and a renewed investigation into the legality of his family's sale of their 49 per cent holding in Shin Corp to Singapore's Temasek Holding earlier this year.

The sale, which earned the Shinawatra family $1.9 billion, triggered anti-Thaksin protests that eventually forced the premier to dissolve parliament in February and call for a snap election in April.

Another general election has been scheduled for Oct 15, after the Constitutional Court annulled the results of the April polls on grounds of irregularities.

First Published: Aug 28, 2006 12:33 IST