The Courier-Mail

Hunt for bomber heats up

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BANGKOK: Thailand raised a reward yesterday for informatio­n leading to the arrest of the main suspect in Bangkok’s deadly bombing and turned to the US for help in tracking down those behind the attack.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said he had received offers of assistance from the US Embassy in Bangkok and had assigned his deputy “to cooperate on borrowing equipment that includes facialreco­gnition technology”.

But he ruled out working with US investigat­ors, insisting Thais could do the job.

Four days after the explosion which killed 20 people and injured more than 120 at the revered Erawan Shrine, there were few solid leads into the perpetrato­rs.

Police were still searching for the prime suspect seen in a security video dropping off a backpack near a bench at the site about 15 minutes before the blast, a day after clearing two other men seen in the video who were initially believed to be suspects.

After being criticised for sending confusing messages, authoritie­s appeared more guarded in their statements.

Military spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvaree said police were making “much progress” but that he could not disclose any details.

Police have released a sketch of the suspect – he has glasses and bushy, black hair – and offered a reward that yesterday was raised to $85,000.

On a police arrest warrant he is described as a “foreign man”, although a military spokesman said that a connection to internatio­nal terrorism seemed unlikely.

Multi-religious ceremonies to mourn the victims are being held at the blast site.

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