Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 22nd 2015 Contents A38
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, August 22, 2015
BANGKOK---Thailand raised a
reward yesterday for tips leading
to the arrest of the main suspect
in Bangkok s deadly bombing and
turned to the United States for help
in tracking down those behind the
attack that left 20 people dead.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-
ocha said he had received offers of
assistance from the US Embassy in
Bangkok and had assigned his
deputy "to co-operate on borrowing
equipment that includes facial-
Prayuth, however, ruled out work-
ing with US investigators, insisting
Thais can do the job.
"It won t be necessary to co-
operate on the investigation with
US officers," Prayuth told reporters.
"We need to help ourselves."
Four days after the explosion at
the revered Erawan Shrine, at one
of the capital s busiest intersections,
there were few solid leads into the
perpetrators of the attack that also
left more than 120 injured.
Police were still searching yester-
day for the prime suspect seen in
a security video dropping off a back-
pack near a bench at the site about
15 minutes before the blast, a day
after clearing two other men seen
in the video who were initially
believed to be suspects.
National police chief Somyot
Poompanmoung told reporters that
police were looking for a woman
wearing a black shirt who appeared
in the footage, seated near the sus-
pect. He noted she was not consid-
ered a suspect but could have valu-
able witness testimony, if police
could find her.
"We don t even know who she
is," Somyot said. When asked if any
persons of interest would be called
in Friday, he said, "No."
After being criticised for sending
confusing messages, authorities
appeared more guarded in their
statements. Military spokesman Col
Winthai Suvaree said on television
that the police were making "much
progress" but that he could not dis-
close any details.
Police have released a sketch of
the suspect---depicting him with
eyeglasses and bushy, black hair---
and offered a reward that on Friday
was raised to 3 million baht
($85,000), Somyot said. On a police
arrest warrant he is described as a
"foreign man," although a military
spokesman said Thursday that a
connection to international terrorism
Somyot had signalled the need
for facial recognition technology to
help speed the investigation.
"There are automatic machines
that can detect 100 people within
5-6 seconds," Somyot said Thursday.
"Making people sit and do the job
would take all day."
The US Embassy confirmed that
it had offered to help Thai authorities
but declined to give specifics, citing
the ongoing investigation.
"The Embassy in Bangkok has
informed Thai authorities that we
stand ready to assist with the inves-
tigation as needed," said embassy
spokeswoman Melissa Sweeney. "We
will continue to consult closely with
local authorities regarding the attack
and will provide assistance as appro-
At the site of the blast, several
ceremonies were held Friday to
mourn the victims and to show that
the bustling capital was respectfully,
if cautiously, moving on.
Doves were released into the sky
yesterday afternoon at the shrine,
after a morning multi-religious
prayer ceremony attended by Bud-
dhist, Christian, Hindu, Sikh and
Muslim priests and representatives.
Government officials and diplomats
laid floral bouquets at the shrine,
an open-air Hindu temple popular
with Chinese tourists.
Office worker Pratuang Limkul
was among many Bangkok residents
who also came to pay respects.
"I came to send the spirits of
those in this place to rest in peace,"
she said, after kneeling in prayer.
Thailand seeks US help to
find bomber, raises reward
A group of Thai people release pigeons to mourn for the victims at the Erawan shrine, the
site of Monday's deadly blast, in central Bangkok, Thailand, yesterday. Thai government
officials and police chiefs attended a religious ceremony yesterday for the victims of the
country's worst ever bombing but appeared no closer to determining who carried out the
attack and why, in Bangkok, Thailand.
officials attend a
religious ceremony at the
Erawan shrine, the site
of Monday's deadly blast,
in central Bangkok,
Thailand, yesterday. Thai
government officials and
police chiefs attended a
yesterday for the victims
of the country's worst
ever bombing but
appeared no closer to
determining who carried
out the attack and why.
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