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article imageSuspect spotted as Thailand bombing death toll rises to 22

By Nathan Salant     Aug 18, 2015 in World
Bangkok - Police in Thailand say they are looking for a suspect in Monday's fatal bombing attack who was spotted on video cameras near the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok.
Authorities say they do not yet know the identity of the suspect, who was seen with a dark-colored backpack in some images and without the backpack in others taken near the shrine, according to Cable News Network (CNN).
The man was wearing a yellow T-shirt and dark-framed glasses.
The bomb killed 22 and injured more than 100 when it exploded during the evening commute in Bangkok, Thailand's capital and most-populated city.
The explosion was so powerful it sent bodies and body parts hurling through the air, destroyed parked motorcycles and left a six-foot crater at the Ratchaprasong intersection on Ratchadamri Road iin central Bangkok.
Royal Thai Police Commissioner Gen. Somyot Poompanmoung said authorities were still trying to learn the suspect's name and country of origin, since the Pathum Wan district is popular with locals and tourists.
"We need more evidence before we can make any conclusions," Somyat told a news conference, adding that police were studying more than 10 days' worth of video footage from the area, CNN said.
The Buddhist shrine, located near shopping malls and hotels, also is a draw for Hindus and Sikhs from Thailand's Indian community, CNN said.
Authorities appeared at a loss to explain who or what groups were behind the bombing, because attacks in the capital were seen as out of character for anti-government organizations inside Thailand.
The military government that seized power in 2014 is battling a Muslim insurgency in the country's south, but those groups have not shown a tendency nor capability of attacking Bangkok, authorities said.
"From this incident, it is apparent that there are active individuals or groups that harbor the intention to damage Thailand, who may be pursuing political gain or other intentions by damaging the economy and tourism," Thailand's prime minister, Prayuth Chanocha, told CNN.
There were no warnings before the bombing and no claims of responsibility so far, CNN said.
"It was like this huge gust of wind and debris flying through you," said Sanjeev Vyas, a DJ from Mumbai, India, who was downtown when the bomb went off.
"And then I see bodies everywhere -- there are cars on fire, there are bikes everywhere, people are screaming." he said.
To add to the shock, another explosion went off Tuesday on a pier on the Chao Pray River that flows through Bangkok, authorities said, forcing the closure of the pier.
But police said they had not linked the two explosions so far, CNN said.
Bangkok has been the scene of political unrest before, including last year's demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawata, sister of controversial former leader Thaksin Shinawata, that appears to have led to the military's latest seizure of power.
Thaksin Shinawata was ousted in a coup in 2006.
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