Monday, August 17, 2015

Bangkok terrorist bomb kills 17, injures dozens

A bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded on Monday [17th August] just outside a Hindu shrine in the centre of the Thai capital. Local media reported that four foreigners were amongst up to 27 people killed and 80 others injured by the blast just outside the Erawan shrine. Early reports suggested that only 12 had died with Reuters reporting that as many as 27 had perished.

A government spokesperson told Reuters that the bombing was aimed at destroying the economy and the tourism industry. "The perpetrators intended to destroy the economy and tourism because the incident occurred in the heart of the tourism district," Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told Reuters.

There have also been suggestions the attack may have deliberately charged Chinese tourists. Thailand's Chinese-language newspaper Sing Sian Daily has hypothesized that global Islamist terrorist organizations could be trying to send Bangkok a message over its recent forcible repatriation of 109 Uyghurs to China.

Other groups that are likely to be responsible for the attacks, according to the paper, are Muslim separatists based in Thailand's restive south, and anti-junta Red Shirts. The attack has been denounced by former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra as well as her brother Thaksin, who remains in exile.

The attack came during the rush hour at a very busy intersection situated near to five star hotels and shopping centres. Witnesses described a scene of canage with body parts everywhere and at least 6 people under sheets.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. However, Thai forces are fighting a low-level Muslim insurgency in the predominantly Buddhist country's south, but those rebels have rarely launched attacks outside their ethnic Malay heartland. [CNN / BBC / Sky News / Reuters / Shanghaiist]

tvnewswatch, London, UK

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