Bomb blast inside Thailand Brahma temple 27 killed

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27 people, including four foreigners, were killed and over 80 others injured in a powerful bomb blast inside a hugely popular Lord Brahma temple in a crowded area here today in the first such attack in the Thai capital.

The blast, which the government believed was aimed at damaging economy and tourism, occurred inside Erawan Shrine dedicated to Lord Brahma in the downtown Chidlom district, creating panic as people fled the place where cars and motorcycles exploded in the impact.

The temple is located on a main road through Bangkok’s commercial hub and is surrounded by three major shopping malls and big hotels of international chains.  It is among Bangkok’s most popular tourist attractions visited by East Asian tourists and local Buddhists.

However, there were no reports of any Indian casualties in the explosions that caused a huge amount of chaos, with body parts and glass panes scattered everywhere. National police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang put the death toll at 16 but Thai TV placed it at 27. National police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang put the death toll at 16 but Thai TV placed it at 27. More deaths were feared because of the huge number of injured. Of the four foreigners dead, two have been identified as Chinese and a Philipino.

An improvised explosive device fastened to a utility pole inside the Erawan shrine complex at the Ratchaprasong intersection detonated at 6.55pm.The Rajprasong intersection has been the centre of political demonstrations in recent years. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Suspicion revolves around the hand of Muslim separatists in the South and political factions in Bangkok fighting for power.

The iron grills surrounding the gilded shrine of Phra Phrom as Lord Brahma is known in Thai, just in front of the Hyatt Hotel, were mangled. The bomb was apparently placed near the grill inside the shrine compound. The shrine was not damaged. Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwong said: “It was a TNT bomb… the people who did it targeted foreigners and to damage tourism and the economy.”

Police said the bomb was made of 5 kg of TNT explosive. The explosion had a radius of 40 metres. The Bangkok Post quoted police as saying that at least two more bombs were defused by officers in the same area. “We are in close touch with the authorities concerned. So far there have been no reports of any Indians being injured,” Indian Ambassador to Thailand Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

 

Experts investigate at the site of a blast in central Bangkok August 17, 2015. A bomb on a motorcycle exploded on Monday just outside a Hindu shrine in the Thai capital, killing 27 people, including foreign tourists, media reported, in an attack the government said was a bid to destroy the economy.   REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY           TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Asmaa Mubita is a Kenyan journalist of international repute with over fifteen years of experience in broadcast journalism. Asmaa Mubita began his journalism career at the Kenyan state broadcaster (KBC) and later worked at the KTN owned by the Standard Group and Citizen Television, the flagship brand of Royal Media Services. These exploits together with his reporting experience with the Voice of America, CNN and BBC have been rewarded with local and global recognition.