October 31, 2014

Thai police search for two Iranian suspects in connection to bomb blasts

AP Photo

Thai police are on the hunt for two suspects, including a possible bomb specialists, who officials say are likely connected to Tuesday’s blasts in Bangkok, the nation’s capital.

Authorities say the attacks had been targeting Israeli diplomats and the police commissioner, Lt. General Winai Thongson has confirmed that the two wanted individuals were responsible for providing training to the three Iranian men who had carried out the failed bombing attempt.

Though the plot was thwarted, five were injured in the process, including one of the Iranian culprits now detained in police custody.

The three men had fled their hideout after an untimely detonation of their weapons’ cache. The culprits had run out of the house; one of the men, Saied Moradi, 28, threw an explosive at a taxi and another at a police officer, injuring four in the process, including himself.

Moradi was detained after receiving treatment from a hospital, while the two other men – Mohammad Hazaei, 42, who was caught making his way to Malaysia and Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, 27, – were arrested and are being detained as well.

As to the identities of the other fleeing suspects, one of them, a suspected bomb specialist seen leaving the house before the explosion, is described as a 52-year-old man of Middle Eastern descent. No further details are given about him.

The other suspect is thought to have rented the house in Ekkamai, east Bangkok, along with an Iranian woman, Rohani Leila, who police now believe is back in Tehran.

Friday’s admission of new suspects emerged as photographs were released of the three Iranians partying with escorts in the resort town of Pattaya, where they had stayed before arriving in Bangkok.

Moradi faces charges of attempted murder and possession of explosives, while the other three have been charged with possession of explosives but not with terrorism, the Bangkok Post reported.

It is unlikely that Leila will face arrest because Thailand and Iran do not share an extradition treaty.

Israel has accused Iran of being behind Tuesday’s bombs and of waging a campaign of state terror. Iran in turn has blamed Israel for the recent killings of Iranian atomic scientists and denied responsibility for this week’s incidents in India, Georgia and Thailand.

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