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Police close in on hardcore political opponents in hospital bombing

Over 60 witnesses to the Phra Mongkutklaoo hospital bombing have been questioned by police with now political motive remaining the strongest possibility, according to the Royal Thai Police commissioner.

Disclosure of the latest update in the bomb probe came after the Royal Thai Police held a meeting with all relevant investigators to wrap up their findings.

The meeting was chaired by the deputy commissioner of the Royal Thai Police Pol Gen Srivara Rangsibhramanakul, who is in charge of the investigation.

At the meeting, southern insurgency motive was ruled out although a letter warning hospitals in the area of bomb attack just before the Phra Mongkutklao hospital bombing was earlier revealed.

The letter earlier suspected to be from the BRN insurgency group was just to divert attention of security authorities.

The pipe bomb used in the hospital attack didn't have any weight to convince authorities to believe it was the work of southern insurgents. Instead it added stronger weight to two pipe bomb incidents, one at the National Theatre, and another at the old Government Lottery Office that they were the work of same perpetrators with political motive.

Royal Thai Police commissioner Pol Gen Chaktip Chaijinda revealed that thus far 61 witnesses have already been interviewed.

With regards to a sketch that was released by the media, he was not able to confirm that it was of one of the perpetrators of the bombing.

However he confirmed that the group that had carried out the bombing was politically motivated and favored violence to achieve its goals.

One suspect Wuthiphong Katchathammakun, or Ko Tee, was mentioned.

He stated that authorities believe they are the same ones that had carried out earlier bombings at the old Government Lottery Office and the National Theater.

As such the focus of the investigation has now shifted to establishing the links to all 3 incidents as the perpetrators are believed to be still in the country.

Another team of investigators have also been ordered to carry out a reenactment of the possible entry and exit routes of the bombers at Phra Mongkhutklao Hospital.

Investigators believe that the perpetrators must have definitely scouted out the location in advance as it was an open space with a lot of people coming and going. With this in mind they speculated that no less than 5 persons were involved in the actual bombing.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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