The Latest: Thai sought in Bangkok bomb believed in Turkey

AP News
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Posted: Aug 31, 2015 8:19 AM
The Latest: Thai sought in Bangkok bomb believed in Turkey

BANGKOK (AP) — The latest on the investigation in the Bangkok shrine bombing (all times local):

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7:00 p.m.

Police in Thailand say relatives of a woman whose arrest they are seeking in connection with the deadly Aug. 17 bombing at a central Bangkok landmark have told them they believe she is in Turkey.

Police on Monday issued an arrest warrant for the woman, identified as Wanna Suansun., who was listed as having rented an apartment where bomb-making materials were found by authorities. Police raided the woman's registered residence in the southern province of Phang Nga, but did not find her.

Police Maj. Gen Chalit Keawyarat said her relatives told them she had been away for three months, and they believed she was in Turkey because her husband is Turkish.

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12:00 p.m.

Thai police have awarded themselves a 3 million baht, or $84,000, reward offered to the public for tips leading to the arrest of suspects in Bangkok's deadly bombing after a man was arrested over the weekend in an apartment containing bomb-making equipment.

National police chief Somyot Poompanmoung said Monday that he was taking the unusual step of giving the reward to the police force both to motivate his officers and to show that Thailand's police are good at their job.

"This money should be given to officials who did their job," he said at a news conference as aides brought out stacks of 1,000 baht notes.

It wasn't immediately clear how the money would be distributed to police officers.

On Saturday, police arrested a foreigner who they say was allegedly involved in the Aug. 17 bombing at Bangkok's Erawan Shrine that killed 20 people. The man was arrested at an apartment on the outskirts of Bangkok where police seized bomb-making materials. He is in military custody and has not yet been charged.

"This arrest, I confirm is due purely to the work of police," Somyot said, denying news reports that police had acted on tips.

Since the bombing, police have faced criticism for their handling of the investigation and sending contradictory and confusing messages to the public.

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1 p.m.

Thai police say they are seeking two new suspects — a Thai woman and a foreign man of unknown nationality — in the widening investigation into Bangkok's deadly bombing two weeks ago.

The police released a photo of the woman's Thai identification card and a sketch of the man in a televised announcement Monday.

The Aug. 17 bombing of the Erawan Shrine in central Bangkok left 20 people dead and more than 120 injured.

On Saturday, police arrested a man from an apartment in Bangkok's outskirts and seized bomb-making equipment. More bomb-making materials were found in a second apartment during a separate raid in the nearby neighborhood of Min Buri.

National police spokesman Prawuth Thavornsiri said Monday the apartment in Min Buri was rented by the Thai woman who is being sought. During the broadcast, police showed her ID picture in which she is wearing a black headscarf.

He said the man is believed to have lived in the apartment.

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10:30 a.m.

Thai police probing Bangkok's deadly bombing say they have discovered bomb-making materials during a raid of a second apartment on the outskirts of the capital.

National police spokesman Prawuth Thavornsiri said Monday that police found fertilizer, gun powder, digital clocks and remote-controlled cars whose parts can be used for detonation, among other items, during a raid over the weekend at an apartment in Bangkok's Min Buri district.

Prawuth said "these are bomb-making materials" and added that police are looking to issue three or four arrest warrants but declined to give more details.

Min Buri is near the neighborhood where police on Saturday arrested an unnamed foreigner and seized a trove of bomb-making equipment that included detonators and ball bearings.

Prawuth said Saturday the man's nationality is still not known. He said "we are very certain he's part of the network" that carried out the Aug. 17 bombing.