Bangkok: Footage emerged Saturday of the moment a bomb exploded in a Bangkok mall as the city hosted a major summit, the device apparently hidden inside a cuddly toy animal. There were nine successful or attempted bomb blasts on Friday throughout Bangkok which left four wounded as the city hosted a regional summit attended by top diplomats, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Footage showed an explosion in a shopping mall minutes from the summit venue in the early hours of Friday morning, after it was apparently planted by a man dressed in a student’s uniform about 12 hours earlier. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US The man, wearing a fedora and face mask, entered a store in Siam Square mall at around 3:30 pm on Thursday, according to time stamps on the footage obtained by AFP. Milling around the store, he stopped at a shelf full of cuddly toy seals and polar bears and fiddled with one of them for a few seconds before placing it back on the shelf. The next video recordings showed an explosion in the store originating from the shelf around 4:45 am on Friday morning, which caused a fire and a swirl of smoke as the store’s sprinkler system was activated. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls No one was injured and police confirmed the bomb blast. “The staff from the … store filed a complaint with the police about the blast yesterday,” Colonel Thammanoon Boonruang told AFP Saturday, declining to comment on whether it was one of the nine explosions authorities confirmed. The store remained closed on Saturday. Speculation swirled in Thailand about the motive behind the bombings, with many linking them to retaliation from the insurgency-hit south for the recent arrest of a rebel suspect who was left in a coma after arriving at a notorious army camp. A preliminary army-led probe showed that Abdulloh Esormusor, 34, could have been suffocated. Thailand has a grim history of political violence, and remains deeply divided after a controversial March election which returned junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha to power as a civilian premier. Its three southernmost provinces bordering Malaysia, which are predominantly Muslim-Malay, are also in a grip of a 15-year conflict, where a shadowy rebel group has agitated for more autonomy outside of the Buddhist-majority Thai state. So far, two men linked to the conflict-hit region were arrested hours after wires and ball bearings were found in an inactive device outside Thai police headquarters late Thursday. But police said it was “too early” to clearly tie them to the rebellion.
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A tiny Newfoundland village is hoping to quickly remove the massive body of a humpback whale that has been stuck there since last fall, fearing the impending odour and mess as warmer weather approaches.The whale’s body was frozen and covered with snow for the winter months in Nameless Cove, but has become an urgent issue for the village.“The warmer temperatures are coming and you obviously know what’s gonna happen next,” Hank Diamond, a member of the local service district committee, said Wednesday.“You won’t be able live in that community in the summer, probably, if you don’t move it.”Nameless Cove is waiting on a price quote from contractors, and Diamond said the community is hoping for provincial assistance to remove the sizable creature that he estimates to be 25-30 feet.“It would take a fairly fair sized vessel to move that off the beach even at high tide, you know, and it seems to be settling in the sand more, so it’s gonna be harder and harder to get outta there, and it’s starting to rot.”The body is in close proximity to some residences, wharves, and is less than 100 metres from a graveyard.The beach is also a tourist attraction for its proximity to Flowers Island. The whale’s body is currently in the line of vision for anyone hoping to snap a photo of the island’s famed lighthouse.Diamond reached out to Service NL after Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) told Nameless Cove the removal of the whale carcass is the municipality’s responsibility.In an e-mailed statement, Service NL said it is working with the district and “the whale will have to be moved and disposed of, either by towing it to a more secluded location to decompose or by burial.”Dead smelly whales are not uncommon an issue for seaside Newfoundlanders: Last June, a dead humpback was lifted by crane in Outer Cove, N.L., and taken to a disposal site.But small communities like Nameless Cove, armed with tiny boats and a population under 100 people in northern Newfoundland, are faced with a difficult task when whales wash ashore.Diamond said DFO officials visited the site last fall to assess the beached whale, leading many locals to believe they would return to remove the body in the spring. Then villagers were surprised and upset when DFO told them it fell outside the department’s responsibility.“It’s like Russian roulette, whatever community it lands on, it’s on you,” Diamond said.So far, Diamond said the response from Service NL has been encouraging. But the town needs to move fast on the difficult removal, with or without the government’s help.“If they support it or if they don’t, it’s got to move,” said Diamond. “We’ll see to it I guess.”