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Thai police hunt two bombing suspects after weekend raids

Police issued arrest warrants for two suspects believed to be connected to the explosion at a shrine.

Thai rescue workers carry an injured person after a bomb exploded outside a religious shrine in central Bangkok late on 17 August, 2015 killing at least 10 people and wounding scores more. Picture: AFP

BANGKOK - Police probing Thailand's deadliest bombing issued arrest warrants on Monday for two suspects after a second weekend raid on a suburban apartment block uncovered possible bomb-making materials.

Police were looking for a 26-year-old Thai woman and a foreign man in his 40s after expanding their search to a property in the city's Min Buri district.

They found fertiliser, digital watches and an explosives detonator.

That came after a raid on an a decaying apartment building in the nearby Nong Chok district on Saturday, when police arrested a foreigner and seized several kinds of explosives and more than 200 passports.

The 17 August attack on a Bangkok Hindu shrine killed 20 people and injured more than 100.

Fourteen foreigners were among those killed in a blast the military government said was aimed at dealing a blow to an already ailing economy for which tourism has become crucial.

A sketch of the man showed him with cropped hair and a short moustache. A picture of the female suspect, Wanna Suansant, showed her wearing a hijab.

She rented the room occupied by the foreign man, for whom police issued the second arrest warrant, spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri said.

Police visited the family of the woman in southern Phangna province soon after the warrant was issued and were told she was living overseas.

"They said Wanna lives in Turkey with her Turkish partner and her child. She has not contacted them for a while," deputy provincial police chief Taracha Thompat told Reuters by phone.

Police have been looking into a possible Turkish connection in their probe and last week said they were checking arrivals from that country.

Fake Turkish passports were seized and police requested a Turkish translator to assist in questioning the suspect arrested on Saturday.

The Turkish embassy in Bangkok was not immediately available for comment.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha indicated at least one of the two suspects had been caught on closed-circuit cameras on the day of the bombing. However, he did not specify the location covered by the surveillance video.

Police have been criticised for an erratic investigation.