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Thai Police to Charge Suspect in Shrine Bombing Case

  • VOA News

FILE - Women light incense sticks before offering prayers at the reopened Erawan Shrine, the popular tourist site where 20 people were killed on August 17 in a bomb blast in Bangkok, Aug. 20, 2015.

FILE - Women light incense sticks before offering prayers at the reopened Erawan Shrine, the popular tourist site where 20 people were killed on August 17 in a bomb blast in Bangkok, Aug. 20, 2015.

Thai police said Friday that a man they have been holding in custody is responsible for a bombing last month that killed 20 people in Bangkok.

Officials said they had gathered enough evidence from surveillance cameras and witnesses to formally charge Adem Karadag, also known as Bilal Turk, with planting the bomb.

Karadag was arrested at an apartment on the outskirts of Bangkok, where police said bomb-making materials and a large quantity of fake passports were found. He is one of two suspects arrested so far in the case.

Police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri also appeared to confirm local media reports from this past week alleging that Karadag had confessed to planting the bomb at the Erawan Shrine on August 17, a spot popular with Thais and visitors.

Police have been seeking a man in a yellow shirt seen on video footage approaching the shrine and leaving after abandoning a backpack they say contained the bomb. Video footage leaked to the press this week — either newly discovered or analyzed — appeared to show how the suspect had changed his shirt after going to a nearby park, firming up identification of who he might be.

The police spokesman did not talk about the motive for the bombing or who might be the mastermind. Thai officials have said the motive was revenge for Thai authorities having interfered in the perpetrators' smuggling business, though they have not detailed how. They insist the perpetrators are part of a criminal network and did not have political motives.

A total of 17 warrants have been issued for other people suspected of involvement in the deadly attack.

Some information for this report came from AP.

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