Authorities have identified at least four suspects in the huge car bombing at the Big C superstore from CCTV footage as the number of injured reached 61, three of them serious.
Without naming them, security sources said on Wednesday that two of the suspects parked the pickup truck that carried the bombs, while the other two waited for their accomplices on motorcycles in front of the superstore. All four had criminal records.
Some officials believed that additional gang members may have posed as customers at the supercentre shortly before the explosions.
Authorities believed that two groups of people might be involved in the bombing. One of them may have stolen the pickup truck from a canvas roof vendor from Yala province on Tuesday morning, several hours before the attacks.
The truck owner, Nuson Kachorndam, had left Yala for a job in Pattani and had since gone missing. The truck had been seen on Yala-Pattani Road in Nong Chik district of Pattani shortly before the explosions at about 2.50pm on Tuesday.
The bomber who drove the pickup truck into the supercentre showed the stolen vehicle owner’s ID card to a security guard at the entrance.
Crime scene investigators were collecting evidence in the compound surrounding the superstore. At the entrance of the compound, where the first and smaller bomb exploded next to Nong Chik Road, the officials found gunpowder, a blue plastic container, metal fragments, pieces of a detonation timer, and 1.5- and 9-volt batteries.
Some 100 metres away, at the store entrance where the pickup truck exploded, the officials found pieces of 4kg and 15kg cooking gas cylinders, radio-controlled detonation equipment and a timer, steel rods, a yellow petrol container and gunpowder.
The Big C store will remain closed until June 1 pending completion of the investigation and repairs to the facilities. Thirty-eight people remained at Pattani Hospital for treatment on Wednesday.
The suspected bomber shows the stolen truck owner’s ID card to gain entrance to the supercentre Tuesday afternoon.
The bomb-laden truck is parked at the superstore entrance.