Bangkok police Tuesday questioned a 25-year-old Australian model and fashion blogger in Thailand after reports linked him to the Erawan Shrine bombing that killed at least 21 people Monday. Sunny Burns, who also works as an English tutor in the country, said he turned himself in to police to clear his name after his immigration papers and local address were reportedly posted on social media.
On Tuesday, police spokesman Lt. Gen. Prawut Thavornsiri identified a man wearing a yellow T-shirt and carrying a backpack -- seen in surveillance footage -- as the bomber involved in Monday's blast. Thavornsiri released the photos of the suspect on social media. Later, social media users linked Burns to the image, prompting him to approach officials and narrate his interactions on Facebook.
“I'm not a terrorist and the photo of the terrorist looks nothing like me. I would never wear those clothing -- I'm a fashion blogger,” Burns said, denying the allegations, adding that it was “not a nice feeling being called a terrorist.”
Burns blamed “some jealous hater spreading gossip,” and added that he was concerned about those injured in the attack and asked people to pray for Thailand.
“I forgive everyone who spread those horrible rumors about me. I love this country and let’s fight together. Let’s find this bomber,” he said, in a Facebook post, adding that police officials who searched his house for bombs were “doing their job.”
In an earlier Facebook post, Burns is seen standing at the popular Erawan Shrine in Bangkok. "This is my home now and we can't let this tragedy affect us. This should have never happened in Thailand. We all have to stand together," he captioned the photo.
The Erawan Shrine reopened to the public Wednesday following Monday night's blast that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha called the “worst incident” in the country, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Police reportedly said they had no doubt that the man wearing the yellow T-shirt seen in the footage was responsible for the attack, adding that the bomber did not act alone.
"He didn't do it alone for sure. It's a network," National Chief of Police Somyot Poompanmoung said, according to the AP.