Three explosions shake Bangkok; Iranian link suspected
REPORTING FROM NEW DELHI -- Three explosions reportedly linked to Iranian nationals rattled downtown Bangkok on Tuesday, a day after an Israeli diplomatic vehicle was bombed in India in an attack that Israel attributed to Iran. Four Thai nationals were reportedly injured slightly in the Bangkok blasts, according to authorities.
Security was stepped up throughout the Thai capital as Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra urged caution in the wake of the blasts, which occurred around 2 p.m.
"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, 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 and seriously injured his legs, according to Bangkok's The Nation newspaper. Police identified the man as Saci Morabi, 50, and said he had been taken to a hospital, where he would be questioned.
A manhunt is on for the other two suspects.
Last month, a foreign national 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.
In response, the U.S. Embassy and Israel issued emergency alerts to their citizens, warning of a possible terror threat in Bangkok.
-- Mark Magnier
Photo: A Thai official examines a backpack left by a suspected bomber on Tuesday as police investigate three blasts in Bangkok they say may be linked to Iranian nationals. Credit: Apichart Weerawong / Associated Press