News / Middle East

Police Say Thailand Bombers Targeted Israeli Diplomats

Police and forensic experts investigate the site where a man was injured when a bomb he was carrying exploded, in central Bangkok, Feb. 14, 2012
Police and forensic experts investigate the site where a man was injured when a bomb he was carrying exploded, in central Bangkok, Feb. 14, 2012

Thai authorities say three Iranians who have been arrested in connection with this week's explosions in Bangkok were part of an assassination plot targeting Israeli diplomats.

The third suspect was arrested Wednesday in Malaysia at the international airport in Kuala Lumpur.  Two other Iranian men were arrested immediately after Tuesday's bomb blasts in the Thai capital, which left four civilians injured.  

Thai police chief Prewpan Dhamapon said during a television interview Wednesday the explosives in the Bangkok blasts were similar to those used in recent car bombing attacks targeting Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia.

"As I said before, their target was an individual Israeli diplomat, not involving the Thai people," he said.

Four people were injured in the New Delhi attack, while the car bomb in Tbilisi was defused.

Israel has accused Iran of being directly involved in the triple blasts. Tehran has rejected the charge, accusing Israel of attempting to harm the "friendly and historic" relations between it and Thailand.  

Thailand has been on alert for a possible terrorist attack since a Lebanese man with alleged links to Hezbollah was arrested in Bangkok last month.

The first blast of Tuesday's blasts went off at a house rented by one of the suspects in the central part of the city, Two more blasts followed in the streets outside, blowing the legs off one of the suspects. The second suspect was arrested at Bangkok's international airport.

Police Chief Prewpan Dhamapon said he will face the same charges as the first suspect.

"He will be charged for possession of explosive devices and attempted murder. The victims were seriously injured,'' he said.

They are facing a handful of charges, including attempted murder of police officers and members of the public.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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