27 reported dead, more than 80 injured in blast near Hindu shrine in central Bangkok

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At least 27 people are reported to be killed and scores injured after a powerful explosion that rocked central Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.

Eye witnesses say that the explosions have left many dead and scores injured. A huge crater caused suggests that the explosions have taken place as a result of a bomb.

If confirmed, this would be a rare bomb attack in the Thai capital, which is very famous among tourists from around the world particularly India.

The attack reportedly took place close to the Erawan Shrine, very well-known shrine in the centre of Bangkok, next to a five-star hotel.

The shrine is of the Hindu god Brahma, thousands of Buddhists also visit there each day.

National police spokesman Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri told Agence France-Presse news agency: “I can confirm it was a bomb, we can’t tell which kind yet, we are checking.”

A bystander Alessandro Ursic was quoted by the BBC as saying, “When I arrived they had already cleared the bodies from the ground outside the Erawan shrine but there were and there are still pieces of human flesh strewn around the intersection; it’s really graphic.”

Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the bombers had “targeted foreigners… to damage tourism and the economy”.

“We will hunt them down,” he said.

Thailand’s Nation TV quoted the prime minister as saying that the government would set up a war room to coordinate its response.

There’s been a history of Muslim insurgency in Thailand, but this has been largely confined to the south of the country and their attacks outside the southern Thailand have rarely taken place. Bangkok has also witnessed violent political turbulence for decades.

The shrine is located in the vicinity of the Rajprasong intersection, which has been the centre of many recent political demonstrations in recent years.

The road adjacent to the shrine is scattered with some burnt motorcycles and emergency medical teams are desperately trying to take the injured to the nearby hospitals

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