Man maimed by own bomb in Thai capital

BANGKOK Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:15pm IST

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BANGKOK (Reuters) - A man thought to be Iranian was seriously wounded in Bangkok on Tuesday when a bomb he was carrying exploded and blew one of his legs off, police and a government spokeswoman said.

Shortly before, there had been an explosion in a house the man was renting in the Ekamai area of central Bangkok, government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisaeng told reporters.

A taxi driver told Thai television the man had then thrown a bomb in front of his car before running off, injuring him slightly.

Thitima said police had tried to move in and arrest the man after blast by the taxi but he attempted to throw another bomb at them. However, it went off before he was able to do that, blowing one leg off and wounding the other.

"The police have control of the situation. It is thought that the suspect might be storing more explosives inside his house," Thitima said, adding that, according to an initial police report, the man was thought to be Iranian.

The blasts came a day after a twin bomb attacks targeted Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia. Israel accused arch-enemies Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of being behind those attacks.

Iran denied involvement in the New Delhi and Tbilisi bombs.

The Bangkok explosions were not near the capital's main area for embassies.

A Thai doctor was quoted on television as saying three Thai people were hurt in the blasts incident, none of them seriously.

Police arrested a Lebanese man in Bangkok in January and discovered a huge amount of explosive material in an area southwest of Bangkok. The United States, Israel and other countries issued warnings of possible terrorist attacks in areas frequented by foreigners.

The Lebanese man has been charged with possession of explosive material and prosecutors said further charges could follow next week.

It was not clear if Tuesday's incident was related.

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Sinsiri Tiwutanond; Writing by Alan Raybould; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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