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Police defuse suspected bomb near Thai PM house

Written by: Staff
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BANGKOK, Aug 24 (Reuters) Thai police said they had stopped what they believed to be preparations for a bomb attack on Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's house in Bangkok.

A man they had been following for several days was detained after he parked a car at a busy intersection near Thaksin's house today and police found ingredients for a fertilizer bomb inside it, police said.

''What we found was urea fertilizer packed in a 10-gallon jerry can that could be made into a bomb, but the bomb had not been put together,'' a policeman at the scene said.

''We doused it with water from high-pressure hoses,'' police Colonel Sathorn Saisomboon told Reuters after roads in the busy area were closed to traffic.

The detained man was believed to be an army lieutenant and denied owning the car, said a senior police officer who declined to be identified.

The incident occurred on the first official day of campaigning for a general election re-run scheduled for October 15, and followed scuffles between Thaksin supporters and opponents which raised fears of violence.

Thaksin called a snap general election in April to counter a growing street campaign to oust him by opponents accusing him of corruption and abuse of power, charges he denied.

But a boycott by the main opposition parties meant it was inconclusive. The courts ruled it unlawful and ordered a re-run.

REUTERS SSC BD1048

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