Two blasts hit the downtown Bangkok Erewan Shrine in the area of Ratchprasong at 6:55pm local time during rush hour. At least 16 people have been confirmed dead so far, with at least 80 injured, including foreigners, particularly Chinese and Filipinos.
An improvised explosive device fastened to a utility pole was detonated probably by remote outside the temple dedicated to Lord Brahma, crowded with people after the workday. A motorbike-bomb exploded seconds later a few meters away, hitting at least to taxis and causing more chaos and devastation. Such an attack is unprecedented in Bangkok’s recent history, where low-powered mostly symbolic blasts have occurred. Another two explosive devices were defused by special teams.
“The people who did it targeted foreigners and to damage tourism and the economy”, said Defence minister Prawit Wongsuwan. Also a police spokesman in a news conference indicated that the attack aimed to dissuade foreigners.
Schools will remain closed tomorrow and residents and visitors are all warned to stay away from areas at risk of other attacks.