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Last Updated: Friday, 2 February 2007, 11:20 GMT
Bangkok bombs linked to south

Thai soldiers patrol a railway station in Bangkok on 2 January 2007
Bangkok has been on alert since the attacks
A Thai investigator has suggested a link between a series of bombings in Bangkok on New Year's Eve and a Muslim insurgency in the country's south.

Sunai Manomai-udom, head of Special Investigations, said a man seen on security cameras near one bomb site was also wanted for attacks in the south.

He named him as Thawansek Paenae, a suspect in several bank bombings.

Previously, authorities have blamed the New Year's Eve attacks on elements loyal to ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra.

Mr Thaksin, who has not returned to Thailand since he was replaced in a September coup, has denied any involvement.

Mr Sunai said the suspect was one of three people - all from the south - picked up on security cameras.

But he said it was too early to conclusively link them to the bombings, and that investigators needed another week to decide.

That view was echoed by Prime Minister Gen Surayud Chulanont, who was visiting southern provinces affected by the violence.

"Don't make a too quick judgement before the investigation concludes on whether the southern unrest has intensified and moved to Bangkok. We have to wait until the information becomes clear," he said.

More than 1,800 people have died in the restive south since January 2004, in violence blamed on Muslim separatists as well as criminals and security forces actions.

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Country profile: Thailand
02 Oct 06 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Thailand
03 Oct 06 |  Country profiles

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