Iranian bomber injured in blast, 2 more rock Bangkok
Accused loses leg in blast; officials decline to speculate whether he was involved with any militant group. In briefworld Updated: Feb 15, 2012 01:05 IST
An Iranian man was seriously wounded in Bangkok on Tuesday when a bomb he was carrying exploded and blew one of his legs off, police and government officials said, but they declined to speculate on whether he was involved with any militant group.
Shortly before this, there had been an explosion in a house the man had rented in the Ekamai area of central Bangkok, and shortly afterwards, another blast on a nearby road.
"The police have control of the situation. It is thought that the suspect might be storing more explosives inside his house," government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisaeng told reporters.
The three blasts came a day after bomb attacks targeted Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia. Israel accused Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of being behind those attacks.
Hezbollah is a Shi'ite Islamist group backed by Syria and Iran that is on the official U.S. blacklist of foreign terrorist organisations.
Iran denied involvement in the New Delhi and Tbilisi bombs.
Thai police said they were working to make safe an unspecified amount of explosives found in the house, which did not appear to have been badly damaged.
Police said they were looking for two other men who had been living there and they later said they had apprehended one suspect at Bangkok's main Suvarnabhumi airport.
"We discovered the injured man's passport. It's an Iranian passport and he entered the country through Phuket and arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport on the 8th of this month," Police General Bansiri Prapapat told Reuters.
Taxi a target
Police declined to make any link between Tuesday's incident and the arrest last month of a Lebanese man in Bangkok who, according to the Thai authorities, had links to Hezbollah.
The police discovered a large amount of explosive material in an area southwest of Bangkok at around the time of that arrest. The United States, Israel and other countries issued warnings, subsequently lifted, of possible terrorist attacks in areas frequented by foreigners.
The Lebanese man has been charged with possession of explosive material and prosecutors said further charges could follow next week.
Tuesday's blasts in the sprawling Thai capital were not near the main area for embassies.
A taxi driver told Thai television the suspect had thrown a bomb in front of his car when he refused to pick him up near the site of the first blast. He was wounded slightly.
Government spokeswoman Thitima said police had then tried to move in and arrest the man but he attempted to throw another bomb at them. It went off before he was able to do so, blowing one of his legs off.
A doctor at Chulalongkorn Hospital told reporters the other leg had had to be amputated.
Another doctor was quoted on television as saying three Thai people had suffered minor injuries in the incident, in addition to the taxi driver.
First Published: Feb 14, 2012 23:17 IST