18 suspects in car-bombing of Big C

18 suspects in car-bombing of Big C

Pattani police chief Piyawat Chalermsri, left, shows a picture of Pattani native Makorseng Ma-ae, a prime suspect in Tuesday’s bombing of the Big C Supercentre in Muang Pattani district. (Phobo by Abdulloh Benjakat)

PATTANI – Police have named one of the people suspected of bombing the Big C Supercentre in Muang Pattani district on Tuesday and believe three groups of six people were involved.

Pattani police chief Pol Maj Gen Piyawat Chalermsri said on Thursday that one suspect was Makorseng Ma-ae, a 25-year-old native of tambon Barahom in Muang Pattani district.

He quoted witnesses as saying that Mr Makorseng was the man in a black shirt seen leaving the stolen, bomb-laden pickup truck via the passenger door before the parked vehicle exploded outside the front of the Big C store.

The suspect was already being sought under arrest warrants for three other bombings in Muang Pattani district, Pol Maj Gen Piyawat said. Investigators were preparing an application for arrest warrants for Mr Makorseng and three other people believed to be involved and at the scene of the Tuesday’s bombing.

Investigators also now believed that three groups of six people were involved in the latest bombing. Many of them were already subject to arrest warrants. They were well trained and their operation was well organised, he said.

The Pattani police chief said urban areas of the province remained at risk, and security measures had been intensified.

Sources said the four prime suspects of the Big C bombing were also involved in a car bombing at the Meeting restaurant in February last year, when seven policemen and five other diners were injured, and the explosions that killed two people and injured 39 others at Southern View Hotel last August. Both are in Muang Pattani district.

The Big C bombing injured 61 people, of whom 26 remained in hospital on Thursday, four with serious wounds.

A five-year-old girl sustained major injuries to her face, head, abdomen, wrist and legs. A 32-year-old woman had shrapnel wounds in her abdomen, a 43-year-old woman had wounds to her left cheek and left arm, and a 47-year-old man had serious shrapnel injuries to his head and back of his neck.  All were reported to be in satisfactory condition.

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