At least 12 are dead and 20 have been injured after a bomb on a motorbike exploded just outside a Hindu shrine in Bangkok today.
The explosion took place in the popular Rachaprasong district in heart of the Thai capital at around 7pm, in an area packed with tourists.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the terror attack, but the government has claimed it was aimed at destroying the country’s economy and the tourism industry.
Victims were probably visiting the Erawan Shrine or several shopping centres in the area when the device exploded.
A policeman at the scene and a rescue worker said 12 people had been killed. Media put the number of the wounded at 20.
But there are reports this afternoon that the death toll is 15 have been killed and 80 are injured and that police are hunting two more explosive devices.
Officers, who have sealed off the scene, are said to have already detonated a second bomb found nearby.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Thai forces are fighting a low-level Muslim insurgency in the predominantly Buddhist country’s south, although those rebels have rarely launched attacks outside their ethnic Malay heartland.
The country has also been riven for a decade by intense and sometimes violent rivalry between political factions in Bangkok and elsewhere.
The army has ruled Thailand since May 2014, when it ousted an elected government after months of, at times, violent anti-government protests.
The Erawan shrine, on a busy corner near top hotels, shopping centres and offices, is a major tourist attraction, especially for visitors from East Asia. Many ordinary Thais also worship there.