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Three explosions shake Bangkok; Iranian link suspected


This news story was published on February 14, 2012.
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By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times –

NEW DELHI — Three explosions reportedly linked to Iranian nationals rattled downtown Bangkok Tuesday, a day after an Israeli diplomatic vehicle was bombed in India that Israel attributed to Iran. Four Thai nationals were reportedly injured slightly in the Bangkok blasts, according to Thai authorities, which occurred around 2 p.m.

Security was stepped up throughout the Thai capital as Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra urged caution.

“I would like to ask the people not to panic,” Shinawatra said. “The authorities have now arrested an attacker.”

According to Bangkok Police Deputy Commissioner Pisit Pisutsak, a bomb exploded in a house rented by Iranian nationals in downtown Bangkok, at which point two occupants fled. A third man followed and tried to flag a taxi. When the taxi refused to stop, given the man’s bloodied condition, the suspect reportedly threw a grenade at the taxi, damaging the vehicle and injuring the driver.

The suspect then threw a second grenade at police on the Sukhumvit 71 road, which detonated near him seriously damaging his legs, according to Bangkok’s The Nation newspaper. Police identified the man as Saci Morabi, 50, and said he had been taken to the hospital where he would be questioned.

A manhunt is on for the other two suspects.

Last month, a foreign national who was allegedly linked to Hezbollah militants led Thai police to a warehouse filled with over 8,800 pounds of urea fertilizer and several gallons of liquid ammonium nitrate, key bomb-making ingredients.

The U.S. Embassy and Israel issued emergency alerts at the time to their citizens warning of a possible terror threat in Bangkok.

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