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Bomb Scares: Loud bangs at BTS station, other areas in Bangkok

Started by Johnnie F., August 02, 2019, 02:09:31 PM

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Johnnie F.

Loud bangs were heard near a skytrain station and at least three other areas in Bangkok on Friday morning, with two people confirmed injured on Rama 9 Road.

Police reported loud sound similar to bomb explosions twice at the Chong Nonsi BTS station about 8.50am and closed exits 3 and 4 for safety reasons.

Police also cordoned off the ground near the two exits to examine the cause of the bang.

A Twitter message showed a sheet of glass on the station platform was shattered.

Police also reported loud bangs in Soi 57/1 on Rama 9 road, injuring two city road cleaners at 8.50am, one loud bang outside King Power Mahanakhon Building near the same BTS station at 9am and three bangs near the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road at the same time.

Explosive Ordnance disposal police are at the scene.

In a tweet at 11.12am, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha condemned those behind the bombing and wrote he had already ordered those responsible to protect the people and take care of affected people in a tweet at 11.12am.

Bangkok Post

Johnnie F.

Bombs suspected in two small explosions near Government complex in Bangkok

Two explosions occurred in a small park in front of the Government Complex in Bangkok's Lak Si district on Friday morning, police said.

The Thung Song Hong police station was alerted at 7.05am of the double explosions in the park fronting Building B of the complex in Thung Song Hong sub-district. The explosions damaged trees.

Police cordoned off the area for officers from the explosive ordnance disposal unit to determine the type of bomb.

No casualties were reported.

The Nation

Johnnie F.

Two suspects arrested in police HQ fake bomb incident

Two men were arrested early Friday aboard a south-bound bus in Chumphon province on suspicion of placing two fake homemade bombs in front of the Royal Thai Police headquarters on Thursday evening.

A police source said the two were arrested at the Pathom Phon police checkpoint on Phetkasem Road in Tambon Wang Phai of Chumphon's Muang district and were taken to Bangkok for questioning. Senior police officers are expected to make an official announcement later today.

Police cordoned off the section of Rama I road in front of the Royal Thai police HQ on Thursday evening when two boxes with flashing LED lights were spotted under the headquarters' sign.

A team of explosive ordnance disposal officers was sent in to check and found a potato chip box and a juice box made to look like homemade bombs. They contained a detonator circuit board and metal pellets but no explosives.

Police checked footage from security cameras and saw a slim man dressed in a yellow shirt and black trousers and wearing a hat and a face mask, walking to the spot before throwing down the two boxes and leaving.

After the incident, police tightened security around the police headquarters and sent officers to patrol Rama I Road from the Ratchaprasong to Chalermphao intersections and along Henri Dunant Road around the clock.

Inside the police headquarters' compound, the Special Branch Police also assigned teams of policemen to patrol the area.

The police source said several senior police officers held an urgent meeting on the case at 1am. They included Pol Maj Gen Suwat Jaengyodsuk, assistant national police chief, Pol Maj Gen Nitinan Phetborom, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, and Pol Maj Gen Itthipol Atchaririyapradit, chief of the Investigation Division of the bureau.

The source said the two suspects were arrested because they were caught on security cameras around the Royal Thai Police headquarters. One of the men was keeping watch while the other suspect walked to the spot to throw down the boxes.

The two were later seen walking to meet each other on the Skywalk of BTS Skytrain Siam station before entering Siam Paragon shopping mall.

The two then changed clothes and took a taxi to the Chatuchak Park then a further taxi to the Morchit 2 bus terminal. They changed clothes again before buying tickets and boarded the bus.

The Nation

Johnnie F.

Chaos in capital as bombings stir worries

Damage and injuries minimal but government's image takes a beating during high-profile Asean event

Bangkok was plunged into chaos on Friday after a series of bombings put citizens and authorities alike on alert for unattended objects. Damage and injuries were minimal but the timing of the incidents, during a high-profile Asean meeting, suggested embarrassing the government was the aim.

The incidents occurred on the same day that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, now in charge of a civilian government, made his first visit to the Royal Thai Police head office, which he has pledged to oversee directly.

Every move by the perpetrators and every response by security authorities attracted extra attention from a large foreign media corps in the capital to cover a meeting of Asean foreign ministers. They were joined by many other senior diplomats including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

Security was tightened around the Centara Grand at CentralWorld, where the Asean meetings were under way involving ministers from 31 countries in all.

The internet was soon alight with rumours and speculation, which authorities moved quickly to dispel. For a start, they, said, no areas of the city had been closed.

As for the identity of the perpetrators, army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong said the usual suspects were involved, without naming names. Some took that to mean red-shirt sympathisers loyal to fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

However, national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said an initial investigation found the bombings were probably carried out by the same group of insurgents who perpetrated attacks in seven southern and central provinces in August 2016.

Gen Apirat said intelligence services had been aware of plans for trouble but did not expect the attacks to happen so soon.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon told reporters the perpetrators were trying to create a "situation". When asked whether it was connected to the military junta's recent relinquishing of power, he said, "I don't know either, let authorities investigate first."

The trouble began on Thursday afternoon when two men were spotted dropping a suspicious object outside the police headquarters on Rama I Road. A police source said on Friday that it was a bomb set to go off at 8am that morning.

The pair were arrested in Chumphon province on Friday.

Seven bombs in all were reported in five locations in Bangkok and Nonthaburi on Friday, with five of them going off, hurting three people. A fourth person was later reported to be receiving hospital treatment for a shrapnel wound from the Chong Nonsi incident.

The blasts included the one at the Chong Nonsi BTS station, the Government Complex on Chaeng Watthana Road, and the Royal Thai Armed Forces headquarters. Also targeted was the King Power MahaNakhon tower near the Chong Nonsi station. King Power is a major backer of the Bhumjaithai Party, one of the partners in the coalition government.

At least three suspicious objects were reported, including a box placed under an escalator at the Silom BTS station on Friday morning, and a bag left unattended at a bus stop on Phahon Yothin Road during rush hour.

Gen Prayut, the Royal Thai Army and political parties, including Pheu Thai, all condemned the acts.

"The Pheu Thai Party condemns the group of individuals who may be taking advantage of the situation to spread fear among citizens," the Thaksin-alligned lead party in the opposition said on its Facebook page. "We hope the situation will improve rather than be hijacked for political gain."

The explosives sparked a rumour about a plan to declare the capital a security area but Maj Gen Thanathip Sawangsaeng, a spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command, bluntly denied it. "Please do not panic," he said.

Authorities remained on alert for incidents of all kinds in case they were linked to the unrest. Out of four fires on Friday in the Pratunam area, one was suspected to be arson and objects resembling bomb fragments were said to have been found in the wreckage.

At the Office of the Permanent Secretary of Defence, officials said an explosion in the shrubs outside the entrance was caused by a spotlight that had malfunctioned. However, a reporter said marks caused by ball bearings could be seen on the granite sign.

Bangkok Post

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