Several foreigners among 27 dead in Thai shrine blast: media

Updated: 2015-08-17 20:44


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Several foreigners among 27 dead in Thai shrine blast: media

Thai soldiers inspect the scene after a bomb exploded outside a religious shrine in central Bangkok late on August 17, 2015.[Photo/CFP]


** Blast occurred near a popular Hindu shrine in the Thai capital at approximately 7:15 p.m.

** Explosion involved "a motorcycle bomb."

** Police are checking the area for additional explosives.

** No immediate claim of responsibility

BANGKOK - A bomb on a motorcycle exploded on Monday just outside a Hindu shrine in the Thai capital, killing 27 people, including foreign tourists, local media reported.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast at the Erawan shrine at a major city-centre intersection.

"The perpetrators intended to destroy the economy and tourism, because the incident occurred in the heart of the tourism district," Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said.

The Erawan shrine, on a busy corner near top hotels, shopping centres, offices and a hospital, is a major attraction, especially for visitors from East Asia, including China. Many ordinary Thais also worship there.

The government would set up a "war room" to coordinate the response to the blast, the Nation television channel quoted Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha as saying.

Domestic media said 27 people had been killed, 10 of them men and 17 women.

Police said 78 people were wounded.

The Chinese Embassy in Bangkok initiated its emergency response system and is verifying the casualties among Chinese nationals after the explosion.

The accurate number of casualties among Chinese nationals is being verified, said Sun, a staff member of the Chinese Embassy.

Staff members of the embassy have gone to hospitals to visit the injured and are arranging volunteers to provide interpretation services in hospitals.

Sun added that relatives concerned for their family members in Thailand can dial 0066-854833327 to contact the embassy for information and help.

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