BANGKOK – Thai authorities have tripled the reward to Bt3,000,000 for information leading to the arrest of the main suspect in the Bangkok shrine bombing that killed 20 people at one of the city’s top tourist attractions.
The government said progress in the investigation was being made but declined to give details or offer evidence they were closer to determining who carried out Monday evening’s bombing at the Erawan shrine.
Fourteen of the victims were foreigners, including one British citizen and seven from mainland China and Hong Kong.
Grainy security camera footage shows an unidentified young man dressed in a yellow shirt leaving a backpack at the scene.
Officials have speculated that the man, last seen on video footage slipping away on the back of a motorcycle taxi, could be foreign, or a Thai man pretending to be foreign. However, initial speculation that the plot could be the work of an international terror network has for now been set aside.
Police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang appeared to backtrack Friday on his earlier suggestion that the bomber was probably part of a network of at least 10 people who spent a month planning the attack.
“We still have no information on international terror groups and think that there is no link to international terrorism,” Somyot told reporters. “What is clear is that it was intended to discredit the government, destroy confidence and make tourists scared and not travel to Thailand.”
Two other people seen on the video near the man with the backpack were initially considered suspects but cleared Thursday after one of them turned himself in and said he was a tour guide and the other was a Chinese tourist, said national police spokesman Lt. Gen. Prawut Thavornsiri.
Somber horns sounded at the site of the atrocity Friday as officials joined a multi-religious ceremony for victims.
The Erawan shrine, dedicated to a Hindu deity, is hugely popular with tourists from China.
Nobody has claimed responsibility for the blast.