Camera catches airport bomber

Bangkok - A suspect in the weekend's deadly bombing at an airport in Thailand was seen on a security camera, the head of the air force said on Monday after an emergency meeting on the triple blasts in the southern city of Hat Yai.

"We have picture of suspect from a closed circuit" television camera, Air Chief Marshal Kongsak Vantana told reporters.

Kongsak declined to give any details about the suspect in the blast late on Sunday that killed two people at the airport in the regional commercial centre of Hat Yai.

The airport bomb went off almost simultaneously with bombs at a Carrefour supermarket and a hotel in the southern city, which until Sunday had been spared serious violence since an Islamic insurgency erupted in January 2004.

Thai officials vowed on Monday to boost airport security to levels already in force in Bangkok.

"The air force will cooperate with the aviation department and the airport authority of Thailand to strengthen measures to provide security for airports, especially in Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Phuket where there are many tourists," Kongsak said.

"There is nothing to worry about in Bangkok as we are already strict on security," he added.

Interior Minister Chidchai Vanasathidya said the justice ministry had dispatched teams from its special investigation department to help local police.

Chidchai vowed to implement the same stringent security measures used for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit here in 2003 to deter future attacks.

"To make people confident about security, we will bring back security measures used during APEC meeting and adjust it to focus on combat intelligence," he said.

Police blamed the bombings on the Islamic insurgency that has seen almost daily violence in three mainly Muslim southern provinces near the Malaysian border.

More than 630 people have been killed since the unrest began in January 2004.

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