At around 7pm local time on Monday night, a bomb exploded at a popular Hindu shrine in central Bangkok. The blast has killed a reported 20 people and wounded up to 123 more according to authorities.
Whilst 12 people were killed instantly in the blast, a further 18 were taken to hospital where their injuries proved fatal.
The blast took place at the Erawan Shrine at a peak hour of worship. A popular tourist attraction, the shrine is located in a central part of the city and is often a point of reference for many locals and tourists alike.
Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon released a statement earlier stating that those responsible had “targeted foreigners… to damage tourism and the economy… We will hunt them down.”
Among the dead, 10 Thais along with one Chinese and one Filipino have been confirmed. Hong Kong has also confirmed the death of three nationals.
Bangkok police reportedly told local news that 3kg of TNT had been detonated from within a pipe that was placed at the shrine. Police curtained off the blast site and scoured the immediate location for other devices but no further devices have been found.
The shine itself was located next to a five-star hotel and popular shopping centres.
One bystander, Alessandro Ursic, told the BBC: “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.”
Government officials are yet to release information as to who is responsible for the attack and say it is too early to tell why the blast was detonated.