Thai police foils Bangkok bomb plot

Thai police foils Bangkok bomb plot

Bangkok: Thai authorities have uncovered a plot to explode bombs in Bangkok where millions of Thais are mourning the death last week of long-reigning King Bhumibol Adulyadej.Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters authorities have “solid evidence” that five people arrested planned to carry out bombings in the capital and nearby provinces over five days late in October. Officers guard The Grand Palace in Bangkok, on Monday. Photo: Kate Geraghty “We would not have taken action [against these suspects] if we didn’t have solid evidence,” he said, adding the public should not panic as security forces and intelligence agencies were doing their jobs.All of the five are from Thailand’s southernmost Malay-Muslim provinces were almost 7000 people have been killed as Malay insurgents have waged a separatist war since 2004. An attack on a shrine in central Bangkok in August 2015 killed 20 people and injured more than 120. Photo: AP In August a series of co-ordinated bombings and fires hit seven provinces, including Phuket, the most popular Thai destination for Australian tourists.Confirmation of the plot comes as Thailand’s military government urges calm and moves to reassure citizens about the royal succession following the death of 88-year-old Bhumibol, who ruled for 70 years and was a unifying figure in the country that has seen a decade of political upheaval.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, the king’s 64-year-old only son, could ascend to the throne sometime after an initial 15-day mourning period.He also confirmed the government’s intention to allow elections to be held late in 2017. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. Photo: AP “Nothing has changed. The policies of this government, the laws, the constitution, and the elections will stick to the roadmap,” he said.Vajiralongkorn reportedly asked not to become king immediately as he wanted to mourn the death of his father with the people. Thai police guard The Grand Palace as people flock to pay their respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Monday. Photo: Kate Geraghty The decision surprised as the king designated Vajiralongkorn heir in 1972 and in the past, heirs have immediately ascended to the throne after being invited to do so by parliament.Mr Prayuth said last week that the coronation will not take place until after the king’s cremation, which will be after a one-year official mourning period.But under Thailand’s constitution and royal procedure the heir can ascend to the throne before a coronation is held.The last time Thailand was without a king was in 1932 when King Prajadhipok​ abdicated and it took fi…

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