BANGKOK, Aug. 20 (UPI) — Thailand’s government said Thursday that the Bangkok bombing earlier this week was “unlikely” to have been perpetrated by an international terrorist organization.
Col. Winthai Suvaree, a spokesman for the ruling military junta headed by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, said that the results of a preliminary organization do not point to international terror groups as committing the act.
“The security agencies have collaborated with intelligence agencies from a lot of countries and have come to the same preliminary conclusion that the incident is unlikely to be linked to international terrorism,” Suvaree said in a televised address.
Authorities do believe, however, that the main suspect in the bombing is an “unnamed male foreigner.”
The bombing, which took place at a religious site in Bangkok on Monday, is said to have been completed by a “network” of at least 10 people, according to authorities. At least 20 people died in the attack.
Authorities released a sketch of the main suspect who, recorded in security footage, left a backpack in a shrine before the blast. A 1 million baht (about $28,000) reward is being offered for information leading to the alleged bomber’s location.
The attack occurred near the Erawan Shrine, a sacred site visited by thousands daily dedicated to the Hindu god Brahma and located in front of the Grand Hyatt Erawan, a five-star luxury hotel in the heart of Bangkok’s Chidlom district.
Video footage of a man wanted in connection to the bomb blast was released Tuesday. Closed-circuit television footage shows a man in a yellow shirt removing a backpack he was carrying and placing it carefully on the floor inside the shrine. He then leaves the scene moments after.
Chaos erupted in the aftermath of the explosion and body parts were scattered everywhere. People who visit the shrine to offer prayers were directly hit by blasts, and charred motorcycles and other vehicles had crowded the intersection.
A second, non-lethal explosion hit Bangkok on Tuesday.
The second explosive device, possibly a grenade, was thrown from the Taksin Bridge, which detonated near the Sathorn Pier after falling into the Chao Phraya River below. Video footage of the blast shows a burst of water as people on a walkway run away