According to the Bangkok Post, at least 18 people have been killed and 78 wounded by a bomb blast that hit the commercial centre of the Thai capital Bangkok on Monday evening, local time.
Earlier, Reuters had reported that at least 27 people had died, including four foreigners.
The bomb was placed inside the Erawan Shrine area, a popular tourist centre in Bangkok, and just across the road from a the National Police Headquarters. Thai police have said that a second bomb is was defused inside the shrine.
Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said, “It was a TNT bomb… the people who did it targeted foreigners and to damage tourism and the economy.”
Eric Seldin, of Thaicom Production Services, was 100 metres away when the explosion happened.
“I was inside the Hyatt hotel having dinner when we heard an extremely loud explosion near the Ratchaprasong intersection,” he told Al Jazeera. “The windows were shattered and everyone at the hotel was startled.
“Security tried to shut down the hotel and attempted to keep everyone inside but I was able to go out and walk just about 50 metres close to the intersection.
“I noticed seven to eight covered bodies. There was damage to the ground of the shrine.
“On the street itself there were several casualties. There is a large security presence. Police are moving people back because they are worried about the second explosion.”
The bomb squad is also on the scene of the blast, possibly looking for any other devices. There has been no claim of responsibility.
- Pray for Thailand and the city of Bangkok, for those directly affected by the bomb blast, and those now living in fear and uncertainty. Pray for peace on the streets, and for healing and comfort for those who are mourning.
- Pray for the Thai Government that it will respond in the right way to this bomb blast and for resolution of the tensions in the country, both political and religious.
- Pray for those responsible, that they will turn from violence and seek peaceful ways of reconciliation.
- Pray for the Thai Church, that they will respond with love to the wounded and grieving and reach out to their neighbours and communities at this time.
James 5 vs 16: “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”