Thai police identify detainee as shrine bomber
Thailand’s police say a man in their detention is the attacker, who carried out a bomb attack on a shrine in the capital Bangkok last month, killing 20 people.
On Friday, police officials named the detainee as Adem Karadag, saying he was arrested in a flat on the outskirts of Bangkok in late August, while in possession of bomb-making equipment and dozens of fake Turkish passports.
According to Thai police, Karadag is the same hotly-pursued man in yellow T-shirt, who was seen on CCTV footage leaving a bag at the shrine just moments before the deadly explosion.
On August 17, 20 people, mostly Asian tourists, lost their lives and 120 others were wounded when a powerful bomb blast rocked the Erawan Shrine in downtown Bangkok.
CCTV footage later showed a man in a yellow T-shirt riding pillion on a motorbike, which was moving away from the shrine just two minutes after the explosion.
“After he placed the bomb at the shrine he called a motorbike taxi and changed his shirt at a restroom in (nearby) Lumpini Park,” said national police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri.
Following the bombing, security officials detained two suspects in connection with the incident. However, they initially said it was unlikely that the pair was behind the attack.
He said the suspect now faces up to eight charges, including premeditated murder.
Earlier in the month, Thailand’s police chief Somyot Poompanmoung blamed the blast on a gang of people-smugglers motivated by revenge for a crackdown on their lucrative trade.
Karadag’s lawyer Chuchart Kanphai has said his client was born in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, but moved to Turkey in 2004 where he received Turkish nationality and found work as a truck driver with his brother.