Bangkok bomb: Thai blast suspect 'did not act alone' claims police chief as Hong Kong travel firms weather 100% cancellations

20 people are believed to have died, among them two Hong Kong nationals

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The Independent Online

The Bangkok bomber did not act alone, Thai authorities claimed as details about the attack that claimed at least 20 lives were still unclear two days after explosion rocked the capital.

National chief of police Somyot Poompanmoung said the unidentified attacker, who detonated a pipe bomb at the popular Hindu Erawan shrine in central Bangkok at around 7pm on Monday evening, was part of a network.

As many as 123 people were injured in the explosion, with at least 20 people – including an estimated nine foreign nationals – killed in the resulting blast.

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Tributes: candles and flowers in central Bangkok

Mr Poompanmoung told reporters on Wednesday "he [the suspected bomber] didn't do it alone for sure - it's a network".

Police believe that a man, wearing a yellow t-shirt and heavy glasses, caught on CCTV is responsible for the attack.

Images and footage of the unidentified man have been widely shared online, and appear to show him depositing a rucksack at the scene of the attack – shortly before the bomb detonated – before disappearing into the crowd.

Mr Poompanmoung continued that authorities were unsure whether the bomber was still in the country, adding: "I am confident that there are Thais involved but I am not saying it is just Thais or that there are foreigners."

The police chief also told reporters: “I don't suspect one person, I suspect many people”.

But on Tuesday police spokesperson spokesman Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri told reporters: "The yellow shirt guy is not just the suspect - he is the bomber”.

Meanwhile, the tourism industry has already been badly affected. Thailand relies on tourists for approximately five per cent of its GDP (according to the World Bank), and there have been fears that the attack – in an area popular with foreign visitors – could deter sightseers.

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Vivian Chan, among the Bangkok victims, was a law student

Travel firm New Way Travel, a Bangkok-based travel firm catering to Hong Kong tourists, told The Associated Press that 100 per cent of their customers had cancelled visits to the Thai capital following the attack.

However, Soon Un Tour, another Bangkok-based agency that deals with clients from Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China, claimed it had received no cancellations.

The Thai financial market also suffered, with stocks falling 2.7 per cent as the national currency (the Baht) fell to its lowest point in six years.

Associated Press

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