Duo go on trial for shrine bombing
TWO Chinese nationals will go on trial this week for their alleged roles in a deadly bombing at a shrine in Bangkok one year ago, an attack whose motive remains clouded in mystery following a murky and at times surreal investigation.
The trial, which starts tomorrow, is being held at a military court and is expected to last more than a year.
The bombing was the worst assault of its kind in Thailand’s recent history.
But one year later, more than a dozen key suspects named during the investigation remain at large, while analysts say Thai authorities have yet to offer a convincing motive.
The small but powerful bomb packed with ball bearings killed 20 people and wounded more than 100 when it ripped through Erawan shrine in the heart of the Bangkok shopping district on August 17, 2015.
The Hindu shrine is popular among ethnic Chinese visitors, who made up a majority of the dead with five from Malaysia, five from China and two from Hong Kong.
Two members of China’s Muslim minority Uighur population – Yusufu Mieraili and Bilal Mohammed – have been charged with involvement.
Analysts have largely coalesced around the theory that the bombing was in revenge for the Thai junta’s forcible return of 109 Uighurs to
China weeks earlier.
But Thai authorities have said the two incidents are unrelated and insist the bombing was carried out by a people-smuggling gang angered by recent policing successes against human trafficking. –
Worshippers at the Erawan Shrine, a popular tourist landmark in Bangkok. Two Chinese nationals will go on trial this week for their alleged roles in a deadly bombing at the shrine more than a year ago.