Bangkok blasts wound Iranian attacker
Tuesday 14 February 2012
An Iranian man was seriously wounded in Bangkok today when a bomb he was carrying exploded and blew one of his legs off.
Shortly before the man was wounded, there had been an explosion in a house the man was renting in the Ekamai area of central Bangkok. Soon after that, there was a third blast on a nearby road, Thai police and officials said.
"The police have control of the situation. It is thought that the suspect might be storing more explosives inside his house," Thai government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisaeng told reporters. Israel said the incident was an attempted terrorist attack by Iran.
Police later said they had apprehended another supsect at Bangkok's main Suvarnabhumi airport, one of two men they were looking for who had been living at the house where the initial blast took place.
"We discovered the injured man's passport. It's an Iranian passport and he entered the country through Phuket and arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport on the 8th of this month," Police General Bansiri Prapapat told Reuters.
The three explosions in Bangkok came a day after bomb attacks targeted Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia. Israel accused Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of being behind those attacks. Iran denied involvement.
Hezbollah is a Shi'ite Islamist group backed by Syria and Iran that is on the official US blacklist of foreign terrorist organisations.
Thai officials declined to speculate on whether the two men they had detained were involved with any militant group, but Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak blamed Iran.
"The attempted terrorist attack in Bangkok proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to perpetrate terror," Barak said on a visit to Singapore.
"Iran and Hezbollah are unrelenting terror elements endangering the stability of the region, and endangering the stability of the world," said Barak, who spent a few hours in Bangkok on Sunday.
Thai police said they were working to make safe an unspecified amount of explosives found in the house where the initial blast took place.
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