Tests to Confirm Whether Man is ‘Bangkok Bomber’

LEFT: A composite sketch of the so-called "yellow shirt man" seen leaving a backpack inside the Erawan Shrine three minutes before a bomb exploded there. RIGHT: A man taken into Thai custody on Tuesday near the border with Cambodia.

BANGKOK — It was the likeness of a man captured yesterday near the border with Cambodia to a composite sketch of the Erawan Shrine bomber, authorities said, that led to him being whisked to the capital by helicopter.

Tests today would seek to confirm whether the suspect, now being interrogated at a military facility, is the same man seen placing a backpack in the shrine minutes before a bomb exploded there last month, according to the public face of the investigation.

“Today we will check DNA and fingerprint and bring witnesses to ID him,” Lt. Gen Prawuth Thawornsiri, police spokesman, said today in a televised interview. “We will be able to say how he was involved. We won’t just wait for his confession.”

Later this afternoon, Prawuth said they made a fingerprint match between the suspect and bomb-making materials seized at the Poon Anan Mansion in the eastern outskirts of Bangkok.

Prawuth said the man had been staying there, where their first arrest was made Saturday after being discovered in a room stockpiled with bomb-making materials.

There also remain conflicting accounts of where and how the man arrested Tuesday ended up in Thai custody. Thai officials insist military personnel spotted him walking in woods near the border with Cambodia in Sa Kaeo province.

But according to unnamed sources on both side of the border in reports from the Phnom Penh Post and Bangkok Post, he was arrested at the Cambodian capital’s airport where he was about to fly to Turkey.

An unnamed Cambodian source quoted in the Phnom Penh Post said “the arrest had been kept secret because the suspect was believed to be ‘wanted’ by China.”

UPDATE: This story has been updated with information about the reported fingerprint match.

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