The deadly Bangkok bomb in a Hindu shrine took over one month to plan and was executed by more than 10 people, the kingdom’s police chief has said, as more details emerged of the suspected network behind an attack that killed 20 people.
“This blast was made by teams,” national police chief Somyot Poompanmoung told reporters, adding it would have taken about one month to plan Monday’s assault on the busy shrine in downtown Bangkok.
Stating his belief that “more than 10 people” were involved, Poompanmoung said the bomber would have needed several people to survey the site, plan an entry and exit strategy and acquire and make the bomb, which brought carnage to the Thai capital at rush hour.
“I believe this network has links with people inside Thailand,” he added.
An unnamed foreigner is believed to be the prime suspect after police released security camera footage of a young, bespectacled man in a yellow t-shirt leaving a backpack at the shrine shortly before the blast.
Authorities are looking for two other men seen on CCTV standing in front of the prime suspect as he deposits the backpack at the site of the bomb.
They leave the scene just before the suspected bomber walks away from the shrine. Speculation has swirled about the motive and identity of the bomber and his supposed accomplices.
Thai police said they were investigating areas of interest around the capital on Thursday.
“From today (Thursday) we will go and ‘x-ray’ areas in and out of Bangkok,” police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri told reporters earlier, without explaining whether that would entail raids.
A British teenager was among those killed in the horrific explosion which ripped through a crowd of worshippers at the Erawan Shrine close to five-star hotels and upscale shopping malls on Monday.
In total 20 people died following the bombing which was branded the “worst ever attack” in the country’s capital Bangkok.
Popular food blogger Vivian Chan, 19, a law student in London, appeared to be on holiday in Bangkok when she was killed.
At least 11 of the victims were foreigners, with Chinese, Hong Kong, Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian citizens among the 22 confirmed killed, police said.
More than 120 other people were injured in the bloody blast which left body parts, shattered glass and incinerated motorcycles strewn across the crushed concrete of a busy intersection.