Attempted bomber of KMT office arrested in Kaohsiung after gun battle - Focus Taiwan

Attempted bomber of KMT office arrested in Kaohsiung after gun battle

Kaohsiung, Dec. 14 (CNA) A man suspected of placing an explosive device near the Kuomintang's (KMT) Houbi District Headquarters in Tainan City on Thursday night was arrested Saturday morning in Kaohsiung City, following an overnight standoff with police.

Police said the man, surnamed Wu (吳), was captured on surveillance cameras Thursday night as he approached the KMT office on foot, placing an improvised explosive device next to the building's main entrance.

On Friday evening, the Criminal Investigation Bureau and Kaohsiung City Police Department traced the man back to a fourth-floor apartment on Yongle Street, in the city's Lingya District.

According to Tainan District Prosecutors Office Spokesman Lin Chung-pin (林仲斌), following Wu's initial refusal to submit himself to arrest, police brought his family members to the scene in an effort to coax him out of the building.

When these efforts failed, SWAT officers made successive attempts to break into the apartment at around 4, 5 and 7 a.m., firing tear gas and exchanging more than 100 rounds of gunfire with Wu, who was armed with a handgun.

In the final raid at 7 a.m., officers successfully arrested Wu, before transferring him to Chung-ho Memorial Hospital for treatment on four non-life-threatening gunshot wounds to the neck, buttocks, and the areas under his left and right arms.

Tainan prosecutors said that Wu, who is in his late 40s, was renting an apartment in Kaohsiung, and that the Yongle Street residence where he was arrested belonged to a friend.

Following his recovery, he will undergo interrogation as prosecutors seek to establish facts regarding his professional background and possible motives, Lin said.

Given the target location of the crime, as well the timing being so close to the hotly-contested national elections in Taiwan on Jan. 11, Wu's political convictions will likely become a focus of the upcoming investigation.

According to Tainan City Police Commissioner Chou Yew-woei (周幼偉), the explosive device that Wu is accused of planting contained triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which was used in the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris in November 2015 and Brussels in March 2016.

Chou said police also found bottles containing approximately one kilogram of the substance in a backpack at the scene of the standoff, as well as suspected bomb-making components in a rented car belonging to Wu.

(By Chen Ja-fo and Chen Chi-fong and Matthew Mazzetta)

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