At least 20 have died and another 120 injured after a pipe bomb was detonated during yesterday evening’s rush hour in central Bangkok. The improvised explosive device went off at the busy Ratchaprasong Intersection next to a 5-star hotel, a shopping mall and the Erawan Shrine. The Hindu temple is popular with both locals and tourists, particularly Chinese visitors.
Four Chinese – two from the Mainland and two from Hong Kong – are among the confirmed dead, according to the South China Morning Post (revised from five), along with five Thais, two Malaysians, one Indonesian and one Singaporean.
Earlier reports of the number and nationalities of the casualties have been revised. Authorities say victims have been difficult to identify because of confusion over body parts and a lack of identification, reports the Bangkok Post.
"There are many people still in hospital whose nationality we can't determine," a local doctor told the Bangkok Post. "They remain incapacitated and were not carrying any form of identification at the time of the incident."
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Thai Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the bombers deliberately "targeted foreigners... to damage tourism and the economy," according to the BBC.
"Whoever planted this bomb is cruel and aimed to kill. Planting a bomb there means they want to see a lot of people dead,” said Thailand’s police chief Somyot Poompummuan.
[This post has been updated with revised casualty figures.]