Thai police have released video footage of a man suspected of planting a backpack full of explosives that killed at least 22 people and injured 120 at a shrine in a busy Bangkok shopping district yesterday (Aug.17)
In a second attack on Tuesday, an explosive was thrown over a Bangkok pier. No one was hurt, and Thai police say the two bombings could be the work of the same perpetrators, as they follow the same pattern. They say the suspect could be Thai, or a foreigner. The government said the attack, that targeted a commercial center full of tourists, was meant as a blow to the country’s economy.
Thailand is a sharply divided society, with the military government and political establishment in a long-running fight for influence against the rising middle-class in the country’s northeast, which backs the family of deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The military government, which took power in a coup last year after deposing Thaksin’s sister, suggested that forces allied with Thaksin were behind the bombings: A government spokesman said it was “probably conducted by the same group of people who lost privileges and who want to create disturbance in the country.”
Prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said there are still “anti-government groups out there,” without elaborating. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Here’s a view of the shrine explosion from a dashboard camera of a car standing nearby: