Iranian responsible for Bangkok blasts, Thai police say

Three explosions ripped through a busy neighborhood in Bangkok today, wounding four Thai civilians and blowing off the legs of an Iranian whom police blamed for the violence.
Thai police inspect a bomb site in Bangkok. Three minor blasts rattled the Thai capital, leaving five wounded, including an Iranian, who police say is the suspect.
Thai police inspect a bomb site in Bangkok. Three minor blasts rattled the Thai capital, leaving five wounded, including an Iranian, who police say is the suspect.
BANGKOK // Three explosions ripped through a busy neighborhood in Bangkok today, wounding four Thai civilians and blowing off the legs of an Iranian whom police blamed for the violence.

One blast occurred inside a house, and grenades caused the other explosions, the Police Colonel Warawut Taweechaikarn, said. One damaged a taxi, and another damaged a telephone booth outside a school.

A picture posted on Twitter purportedly showed a wounded man lying on a pavement strewn with broken glass outside the school, his legs apparently sheered off.

Three Thai men and one Thai woman were brought to Kluaynamthai Hospital for treatment, Suwinai Busarakamwong, a doctor there, said.

Several Thai television stations also reported the wounded man was carrying explosives when the blasts happened along Sukhumvit Soi 71, a multi-lane thoroughfare with businesses and apartment blocks. They reported an identification card found in a satchel nearby indicated the man was Iranian descent.

Last month, a Lebanese-Swedish man with alleged links to Hizbollah was detained by Thai police. He led authorities to a warehouse filled with more than 4,000 kilograms of urea fertiliser and several gallons of liquid ammonium nitrate.

Israel and the United States at the time warned their citizens to be alert in the capital, but Thai authorities said Thailand appeared to have been a staging ground but not the target of any attack.

Col Warawut said the man badly wounded in today's blasts was not the same suspect police had been looking for in last month's case.

Yesterday, Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia were targeted in bomb attacks. The attack in India wounded four people. Israel blamed that attack on Iran or its proxies - claims Iran denied.

In Jerusalem, the Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said there was not yet any signs that the targets in Bangkok today were Israeli or Jewish, "but we can't rule out any possibility".

Thailand has rarely been a target for foreign terrorists, although a domestic Islamist insurgency in the country's south has involved bombings of civilian targets.

Georgian authorities vow to track down those responsible for the thwarted bomb attack on an Israeli Embassy car in Tbilisi.

“The investigation of this case is of the utmost priority for Georgia’s law enforcement agencies,” said Manana Manjgaladze, the spokeswoman for the Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili.

The interior ministry said it would work with Israel on the investigation but declined to give any further details.

Published: February 14, 2012 04:00 AM

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