Police in Malaysia have arrested three people suspected in connection with last month’s deadly bombing at a shrine in Bangkok. “Nor have the Thai authorities informed us that a terrorism suspect was travelling to Turkey”.
The three include a Pakistani man, and a Malaysian man and woman.
But arrest warrants, passports and travel itineraries of the main suspects all point towards the involvement of militants from the ethnic group or their supporters.
On Friday, Thai police spokesperson Prawut Thavornsiri claimed that the bombing was an act of retaliation by a network smuggling people across the southern border who lost money after a recent crackdown.
The arrests in Malaysia were made after a tip-off by Thai authorities, Mr Khalid said.
The Bangkok explosion ripped through a Hindu shrine during rush hour on August 17, killing 20 and wounding over 100.
It was the first time Thai police have formally referenced the Uighurs in relation to the case, after issuing a retraction of a mention of the group over the weekend.
Thailand had been following a lead that the suspected bomber, a yellow-shirted man caught on a safety digital camera leaving the gadget on the shrine, might have been in Malaysia.
Thai police had searched “tens of places”, General Prawut told journalists yesterday.
“We are working together with our Thai counterparts”. Investigations revealed that he left Thailand on August 16 for Bangladesh, and police speculated that he might have gone to China.
Police identified the suspect as a 27-year-old ethnic Uighur from China who also uses the name “Ishan”.
They protested, saying they were only tourists returning to China after holidays in Thailand. “Simply speaking, we destroyed their operation and they are angry”, he said.
In the latest development, the lawyer for one of two foreign suspects detained in Thailand confirmed that his client was a Chinese Uighur.
Police investigation reports suggested that the blast was related to mere criminal gangs, but the speculation of Izan belonging to the Uighurs, a Muslim minority in western China, points towards a more specific motive behind the attack.