Police: Iranian Man Blows Off Legs In Bangkok Blast

Posted February 14th, 2012 at 3:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Thai authorities say an Iranian man carrying a bomb blew off his own legs and wounded four other people in three successive blasts Tuesday in Bangkok.

Government officials say the first blast went off at a house rented by the man in the central part of the Thai capital. It was shortly followed by the man throwing a bomb at a taxi that refused to stop and later trying to hurl a grenade at police on a busy road near a school.

The Thai police are currently investigating the events surrounding the explosion.

The United States condemned the attacks and offered condolences to the injured. A spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, said that the attack in Bangkok as well as the previous ones in Delhi and Georgia come on the heels of other disrupted attacks on Israeli and western targets.

“These events do come on the heels of other disrupted attacks targeted at Israel and Western interests, including an Iranian-sponsored attack in Baku, Azerbaijan, and a Hezbollah-linked attack in Bangkok, Thailand, before this. So they serve as a reminder that a variety of states and non-state actors continue to view international terrorism as a legitimate foreign policy tool, which we consider reprehensible.”

The blasts come a day after twin bomb attacks targeted Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia. Israel accused Tehran and the Iranian-backed Islamist group Hezbollah of being behind the attacks targeting Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia. Defense Minister Ehud Barak blamed Iran for Tuesday's bomb blasts in Bangkok.

Thai authorities say it is unclear if the incidents are linked.

They authorities found more explosives in the attacker's house, but they are not sure what was their intended purpose. Police say they also found an Iranian passport in the house belonging to the man.

Police say two other foreigners were seen fleeing the house with the suspect. Thai authorities say they later arrested another Iranian man at Bangkok's international airport, who could be involved in Tuesday's incident.

Thai citizens have been on alert since last month when Thai police, acting on a U.S. warning, arrested a Lebanese man on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack in tourist areas in Bangkok. The man, who allegedly had links to Hezbollah, led police to a warehouse filled with chemicals that could be used to make a bomb.

Terrorist attacks are rare in Bangkok, which is popular with foreign tourists for its beaches and nightlife.

The United States issued a warning to its citizens in Thailand following Tuesday's incident urging them to maintain a “heightened awareness when in public.”