At least 27 dead, 80 injured in Bangkok bomb blasts
Two explosions outside one of Thailand’s biggest tourist attractions in the nation’s capital of Bangkok have left at least 16 dead and over 80 mostly foreign tourists injured Monday evening.
The first improvised explosive device (IED), as described by police, was strapped to a utility pole near the Shrine. Shortly afterwards, another bomb, on a motorcycle, detonated, and set nearby taxis on fire. Police and military later found and defused two more devices attached to supports for the elevated train system. The area has been cordoned off by security forces.
เจอระเบิดลูกที่ 3 ที่ตอม่อบีทีเอส ขณะที่อีโอดีระบุเป็นระเบิดทีเอ็นที รัสมีทำลาย 40 เมตร pic.twitter.com/BjiODh55Se— joe black (@joe_black317) August 17, 2015
The Erawan Shrine at Ratchaprasong intersection houses a four-faced golden statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma. The area is heavily trafficked and is popular with tourists with nearby hotels, shopping centers, and offices. The shrine is the site of many local dance troupes, hired by Thai worshippers and has seen many political protests over the past decade.
Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan said, “it was clear that the perpetrators intended to destroy the economy and tourism, because it occurred in the heart of [Bangkok's] business district." Government officials are refusing to speculate on whether the bombings were politically motivated, or linked to ongoing civil unrest related to the 2014 military coup d’etat by the Royal Thai Army. Last year, bombs were found on the Ratchaprasong Skywalk but the case remains unsolved.
Update: The Independent reports that 27 people are now confirmed dead at the site of the bombings.