Thai police offer rewards to track down Hat Yai bombers

Thai police offer rewards to track down Hat Yai bombers

Police have offered a Bt100,000 (S$3,900)-reward for information leading to the arrest of each of four individuals suspected of carrying out two large bomb attacks on Tuesday in Hat Yai's business district, Songkhla province.

Authorities said images of the suspects had been captured by CCTV cameras. Songkhla police chief Pol Maj-General Ekkapop Prasittiwattanachai yesterday said the four suspects were believed to be from a group linked to an earlier bomb attack in Songkhla's Sadao district on December 22, 2013. This week's attack appeared well-planned and the bombers might be professionals, he said.

Police also suspected the group could be tied to Russaman Baimah, Seri Waemamu and Jehma Wani, who are sought in relation to the Hat Yai Lee Garden Hotel bombing in 2012.

Ekkapop urged people with information to call 081-9793838 and 086-9559999. Police gathered evidence at the scene yesterday and studied CCTV camera images of the routes the suspects might have used for the attack.

Assistant to the national police chief, Pol Lt-General Korkiat Wongworachat, said a CCTV camera had recorded a man suspected of planting the pickup truck bomb near police flats inside the Hat Yai Police Station complex. He fled on an accomplice's motorcycle.

At a convenience store on Phol Phichai Road, footage from a CCTV camera captured a suspect parking a motorcycle bomb in front of the store before also fleeing on a companion's motorcycle, he said.

Ekkapop said the getaway motorcycle's licence plate in the police complex bombing indicated it had been stolen from Pattani's Mae Lan district, while the pickup truck bomb was from Pattani's Sai Buri on April 9.

Hat Yai Police Station yesterday continued to service the public while the bomb scene was sealed for forensic investigation. Meanwhile, six out of the nine people hospitalised after Tuesday's bomb attacks have been sent home.

In related news, a schoolteacher was shot dead in Pattani's Panare district yesterday morning. Ban Duwa School teacher Pairat Jitsen, 50, was returning to school in her car and stopped by a fried banana stall on highway No 42 (Pattani-Narathiwat) in tambon Kuan when a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire. She sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the back of the head.

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