A bomb on a motorcycle exploded just outside a Hindu shrine in the center of the Thai capital yesterday, killing at least 27 people in an attack the government said was aimed at destroying the economy and the tourism industry.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. 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.
The Erawan Shrine, on a busy corner near top hotels, shopping centers, offices and a hospital, is a major tourist attraction, especially for visitors from East Asia. Many ordinary Thais also worship there.
The government would set up a “war room” to coordinate the response to the blast, the Nation TV quoted Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha as saying.