The Latest on Bangkok: Police say suspect was in blast area

AP News
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Posted: Sep 02, 2015 8:28 AM
The Latest on Bangkok: Police say suspect was in blast area

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

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7 p.m.

Police say a man in custody described by authorities as the main suspect in last month's deadly bombing in Bangkok has acknowledged being in the area of the blast but denied any involvement.

Deputy National Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda made the assertion when asked by reporters whether the man arrested Tuesday — whose name and nationality have not been released — had confessed to involvement in the Aug. 17 bombing at Erawan Shrine that killed 20 people and wounded more than 120.

Chakthip said that while the suspect denied being involved in the attack, "he admits that he was there in the area when it happened."

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3:45 p.m.

A Thai court has issued an arrest warrant for a Turkish man married to a Thai woman already being sought in connection with Bangkok's deadly bombing.

National police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri identified the man as Emrah Davutoglu. He is facing charges of conspiracy to possess unauthorized war materials.

Wednesday's arrest warrant is the eight issued in connection with the Aug. 17 bombing of a central Bangkok shrine, which left 20 people dead and more than 120 wounded.

Prawut says that Davutoglu is believed to have been "part of a network that provided accommodation" to those connected with the bombing.

Earlier this week, police issued an arrest warrant for his wife, Wanna Suansan, whose name was on the lease of an apartment where police over the weekend discovered bomb-making materials.

Wanna had told police that she is in Turkey and had nothing to do with the bombing and wants to clear her name.

Prawut says Wanna had agreed to come back to Thailand to be questioned by police but then said "she has to think about it."

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2:30 p.m.

Deputy National Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda says the Bangkok bombing suspect arrested at the border speaks Turkish, which requires a translator.

He did not say whether a translator has been brought in or if the Turkish Embassy has been approached.

Speculation has grown that the suspect might be part of a group seeking to avenge Thailand's forced repatriation of ethnic Uighurs to China in July. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Monday linked the two theories, suggesting the bombers might have been involved in smuggling Uighurs out of China.

Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gurs) are related to Turks, and Turkey is home to a large Uighur community. The Erawan shrine is especially popular with Chinese tourists, feeding the idea that it could be a target for people who believe the Uighurs are oppressed by China's government.

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12:45 p.m.

Thai police say the fingerprints of a foreign man arrested at Thailand's border with Cambodia match those they found on a bottle containing bomb-making material.

The bottle was among many items seized during a raid Saturday of an apartment on the outskirts of Bangkok where another suspect was arrested as part of the investigation into the deadly Aug. 17 bombing at the Erawan shrine.

Both suspects are being interrogated by the military and have not yet been charged.

National police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri said Wednesday that the man arrested at the border on Tuesday "is important and is related to or conspired with people" behind the bombing that killed 20 people and wounded more than 120.

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This story has been updated to correct that Prawut is police spokesman, not police chief.