A deadly bomb exploded in Thailand’s Capital Bangkok on Monday evening, killing a dozen people including tourists and injuring another 78. The blast tore through the country that has seen widespread anti-government protests in the past, causing many to wonder whether the ghosts of the country’s past have returned to haunt them.
The bomb went off just outside Erawan Shrine, a popular Hindu shrine dedicated to the Hindu god Brahma. The site is a popular tourist destination, attracting thousands of visitors every day. Government Spokesman Maj. Gen. Weerachon Sukhondhapatipak said the blast involved a “motorcycle bomb.”
Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwong said, “It was a TNT bomb… the people who did it targeted foreigners and to damage tourism and the economy.”
Initial reports indicate the scene was strewn with body parts everywhere and there was a visible crater where the bomb had gone off.
The explosion blasted apart the Rajprasong intersection, completely destroying it. Motorcycles parked along the intersection were ripped apart.
“There are body parts strewn in the intersection,” said Steven Herman from Voice of America.
Dozens of ambulances were called to the scene to ferry the injured to hospital.
Police have indicated that 78 people were injured by the blast. Thai media reported that a number of those injured were tourists.
So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Later reports indicated that a second bomb was found at the scene of the explosion. The vigilant police quickly secured it.
National Police Chief Prawut Thawornsiri said, “We are now looking for another two to three bombs as we have found one suspicious object. There could be another explosion, so we have blocked off the crime scene and are asking bystanders to move back.”
Richard Sri-kureja, a bystander at the scene told the BBC, “There was total chaos. That area is usually very, very crowded as it’s in the middle of the city and it’s usually very packed. A local hotel is full of injured patients.”
Thailand’s government experienced a military coup in May 2014. The country’s government was dissolved and in its place a military dominated national legislature was put. The military legislature elected General Prayut Chan-o-cha to serve as the country’s Prime Minister. Prayut has ruled with an iron fist, cracking down on dissent and completely banning criticism of his government.
Thailand is only just recovering from years of anti government protests. Though no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the recent explosion will complicate the recovery process for the country.