Asia

Bangkok bomb: Two Malaysians and a Pakistani arrested

A man burns joss stick at a statue of Lord Brahma, the Hindu God of Creation, at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, 9 September 2015. Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Erawan shrine in Bangkok has reopened to worshipers as authorities continue to hunt for the perpetrators

Malaysian police have arrested two Malaysians and one Pakistani in connection with last month's deadly bombing at a shrine in Bangkok.

Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said they were detained a few days ago and were assisting with the investigation.

Thailand has launched a manhunt for those responsible for the bombing which killed 20 people and injured 120.

Thai police have arrested two people and are searching for a third man, said to be from China's Xinjiang region.

Detained

Mr Khalid told reporters on Monday that the three suspects are a Pakistani man, a Malaysian man, and a Malaysian woman, who were arrested based on a tip-off from Thai authorities.

He said the suspects would not yet be transferred to Thailand, as Malaysian police are still investigating. He did not give further details on the reason for their detention.

No group has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the attack at the Erawan shrine on 17 August, but Thailand has alleged that a network which includes foreigners was behind the bombing.

Over the weekend, Thailand issued an arrest warrant for a 27-year-old Muslim man called Abudusataer Abudureheman, also known as Ishan, from Xinjiang.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Thai police released this photo and an arrest warrant for a man known as Ishan on Saturday

He is reported to have left Bangkok for Bangladesh one day before the bomb blast, and is believed by police to have played a prominent role in the attack.

Thai authorities have already arrested two other suspects: Adem Karadag, whose nationality has yet to be verified, and Yusufu Meraili, who officials say is a Chinese national born in Xinjiang.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Yusufu Mieraili re-enacted events leading up to the bomb blast with police near the Erawan shrine last week
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Another foreign man named by the authorities as Adem Karadag (centre) is also being questioned by police

Xinjiang is home to a significant number of Uighur Muslims, and Chinese authorities have faced criticism for the perceived harsh restrictions placed on religion and culture in the region.

Thailand recently found itself in the spotlight following its forced repatriation of more than 100 Uighurs to China.