Friday, August 28, 2015

Bomb in Thai shrine kills 16, wounds 81 - Religion News Service

A bomb planted at one of the Thai capital’s most renowned shrines on Monday (Aug. 17) killed 16 people, including three foreign tourists, and wounded scores in an attack the government called a bid to destroy the economy.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast at the Erawan shrine at a major city-center intersection. Thai forces are fighting a low-level Muslim insurgency in the predominantly Buddhist country’s south, but those rebels have rarely launched attacks outside their heartland.

“The perpetrators intended to destroy the economy and tourism, because the incident occurred in the heart of the tourism district,” Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told Reuters.

While initial suspicion might fall on Muslim separatists in the south, Thailand has been riven for a decade by an intense and sometimes violent struggle for power between political factions in Bangkok.

Occasional small blasts have been blamed on one side or the other. Two pipe bombs exploded outside a luxury shopping mall in the same area in February, but caused little damage.

Police said that attack was aimed at raising tension when the city was under martial law.

Bomb in Thai shrine kills 16, wounds 81 - Religion News Service

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