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Thailand launches manhunt for Bangkok shrine bomber

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BANGKOK —

Thai authorities say they are hunting a man shown on security footage walking around a packed religious shrine and planting a bomb-laden backpack before an explosion that killed at least 20 people.

Monday’s attack in one of the Thai capital’s most famous tourism center hubs ripped through a crowd of worshippers at the Hindu shrine close to five-star hotels and upscale shopping malls.

At least 11 of the victims were foreigners from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

More than 100 other people were injured as the blast left body parts, shattered glass and incinerated motorcycles strewn across the crushed concrete of a busy intersection.

Junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha said the bombing was the “worst ever attack” on Thailand and that the hunt was on for the bomber filmed on closed-circuit television at the shrine.
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Police released images showing the man, who appeared young and slightly built, and wearing a yellow T-shirt and dark shorts, walking into the shrine with a backpack.

National police spokesman Prawut Thavorn said the man left the scene aboard a motorcycle taxi, which are common in Bangkok, and the blast occurred three minutes later.

“It is quite clear that he is the perpetrator in this case,” Mr Thavorn told local television station Channel 3, adding police were also trying to track down the motorcycle taxi driver.

But Mr Thavorn and other security chiefs did not reveal if they knew of any motives for the attack.
-Agencies

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Country marking today as Black Day

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KATHMANDU- The country is marking today (December 16) as Black Day to protest the disposition of the first democratically elected government by the late former king Mahendra Shah on December 15, 1960.

Mahendra took charge of the state with the help of the then Royal Nepali Army and formulated the Panchayat System by overthrowing the elected government led by B.P. Koirala and dissolving the parliament.

Various programmes are scheduled on the occasion.

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