Tue, Aug 29, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Bogus bomb found near Thai leader's residence

AFP , BANGKOK

A police officer holds a plastic bag said to be a fake bomb that his colleagues collected from a parking building for a bank near Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's house in Bangkok yesterday.

PHOTO: AP

A fake bomb was found close to Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Bangkok home yesterday, police said, just days after an alleged assassination attempt on the controversial leader.

An old battery tied with wire to an alarm clock and put in a paper bag was discovered by an ice delivery man near a back entrance to the compound, police Colonel Sathorn Sasomboon said.

"It is a hoax by someone who wants to see the country in a mess," Sathorn said. "This kind of stuff could not have exploded."

Police last Thursday defused a potent mix of TNT, plastic explosives, fertilizer and fuel oil left in the trunk of a car by an intersection near Thaksin's house in what they said was an attempt to kill the prime minister. An army officer was arrested shortly after the bomb was found and charged with illegal possession of explosives, prompting Thaksin to sack a top general.

The prime minister added on Friday that a group of up to four military officers had schemed to kill him, but his claims have been treated with suspicion.

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