• Breaking News

    Suspect in Pattani superstore bombing arrested

    Smoke billows from the scene after the pickup truck bomb exploded at Big C Supercentre in Pattani's Muang district on Tuesday.(photo by Abdulloh Benjakat)

    PATTANI - A key suspect has been arrested in connection with the car bombing of a Big C superstore in Pattani's Muang district on Tuesday, and a massive manhunt is underway for eight others, local authorities said on Friday.

    Suhaimee Sama-ae was apprehended in tambon Koh Poh in Pattani's Nong Chik district on Thursday night. He had allegedly confessed he was involved the attack and had implicated eight others in the plot.

    The arrest was announced at a news briefing attended by provincial governor Veeranan Pengchan, Pattani Special Task Force commander Maj Gen Jatuporn Kalamphasut, and Pattani provincial police chief Maj Gen Piyawat Chalermsri.

    Pol Maj Gen Piyawat alleged Mr Suhaimee was part of the group that held up and murdered pickup truck owner Nuson Khachornkham and stole his vehicle.

    Vendor brutally killed

    The pickup was then packed with explosive and used in the car-bomb attack that left 61 people wounded at Big C Supercentre on Tuesday afternoon. Nuson's body was found dumped in Nong Chik district on Thursday afternoon.

    Pol Maj Gen Piyawat said applications were being prepared for arrest warrants for people believed involved in the bombing.

    The eight others implicated by Mr Suhaimee have outstanding warrants for their arrest in connection with previous violence in Pattani and Yala provinces, officials said.

    They were identified as Anuwa Kaso, Ruslan Baimat, Maolana Samoh, Isma-ae Mosu, Bukkolee Lamsoh, Abdulasi Japakeeya, Manase Saidee and Muhammad Kaso.

    Two of seven other people earlier detained for questioning over the attack are a religious leader and a local tambon leader, who gave "useful information" to investigators.

    Maj Gen Jatuporn said these two local leaders had information about the attack, but it was not clear if they had a hand in it.-Bangkok Post

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