Bangkok: Thai police today said neither of the two men arrested over the country’s deadliest bombing at a Brahma temple here nearly three weeks ago were the main suspects in the case, indicating that the bomber is still on the run. Police spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri said the test showed that the DNA of the man arrested at Sa Kaew province did not match one which was extracted from the taxi the bomber took that day nor did it match the DNA from the 20 baht note which the bomber gave a motorcycle taxi driver.
“Now we don’t have any evidence to say that he is the yellow-shirted man … from the investigation maybe he is not (the yellow-shirted man),” Prawut told reporters. He said the man, who had a Chinese passport, was still a suspect as his DNA matched with those found on a bottle used for storing bomb materials at an apartment in Bangkok’s Nong Chok district.
“However, he is definitely involved with the bombing,” he said. Earlier, the police were describing him the main suspect in the case. The first suspect, whose name or nationality has not yet been confirmed, was arrested last Saturday from the apartment. Prawut said nothing indicates that the first person arrested was also the main suspect.
The discovery appears to be a setback in the investigation into who carried out the attack. The definitive ruling out of the suspect indicate that the person who bombed the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok on August 17 remains at large despite two arrests.
Police has also issued warrants against seven other suspects. The blast at the shrine popular among locals and tourists left 20 people dead and more than 120 injured in one of Thailand’s worst bombing.
Thai authorities have suggested that at least two of the suspects are possibly Turkish, boosting a theory that the bombing was to avengae Thailand’s forced repatriation of more than 100 ethnic Uighurs to China in July. Turkey is home to a large Uighur community.
Meanwhile, the Brahma statue which was slightly damaged in the blast has been repaired. After nine days of repairs, authorities this morning unveiled the gilded statue of the four faced Brahma at a ceremony.
A priest, performed rituals including sprinkling holy water on the statue. The Culture Ministry’s Fine Arts Department repaired 12 areas on the Brahma statue that damaged by the Aug 17 attack, especially one the chin of one face and an arm.