12 Dead, 78 Injured in Bangkok Bombing

At least one bomb went off in heart of city, near the Erawan Shrine
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2015 9:28 AM CDT
12 Dead, 78 Injured in Bangkok Bombing
Police investigate the scene after an explosion in Bangkok, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015.   (AP Photo/Sackchai Lalit)

The area around a Thai shrine visited by thousands of Buddhists each day is now the site of "appalling carnage" after at least one bomb went off in the heart of Bangkok today around 7pm local time. The BBC and Telegraph report body parts littered the ground near the Erawan Shrine, where at least 12 people were killed—foreign tourists possibly among them—and 78 were injured. "All I can say now is there has been an explosion in central Bangkok involving a motorcycle bomb," a police rep tells Reuters. Another adds, "There could be another explosion, so we have blocked off the crime scene and are asking bystanders to move back." A BBC correspondent says burnt motorbikes were seen near the blast site.

No person or group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, though the country's defense minister claims "the perpetrators intended to destroy the economy and tourism because the incident occurred in the heart of the tourism district." Police say they were searching for two or three other bombs; the Bangkok Post reports via Twitter that police have safely detonated at least one other bomb in the Ratchaprasong area, which also includes three shopping malls and a five-star hotel. The Telegraph reports two small blasts near the entrance of one of those malls left one person hurt back in February. In 2012, several explosions in Bangkok injured five in what police say was an attempt by Iranians to assassinate Israeli diplomats. (More Bangkok stories.)

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