18 August 2015
While the Thai government is not ruling out any possibility of who to blame for Monday’s blast that killed at least 20 people at a popular Bangkok shrine, and another on Tuesday in which no one was hurt, theories are emerging that the attacks could be linked to religious conflicts.
A bomb was detonated at the Erawan Shrine in the popular Ratchaprasong shopping precinct in Chidlom district on Monday evening during rush hour, wounding 125 others. At least eight foreigners were among the dead, including six Chinese.
Thai police on Tuedsay narrowed their search to a lone suspect seen on surveillance footage wearing a yellow shirt and carrying a backpack.
Local authorities said earlier that the attack in the capital’s bustling commercial hub during rush hour was aiming at damaging the economy.
… Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, refused to speculate about the culprits other than to say the attack was aimed at triggering religious conflict in mainly Buddhist Thailand.
“What is tragic is that the device was placed near a shrine, so it calls for the Thai government to [look into] conflicts in religious communities. [Whoever did it] understood the impact it will have for religious conflicts on Thailand,” Gunaratna said.
He said the Thai government was working with international intelligence agencies to identify the perpetrator.
“It was certainly an attack that fully intended to create chaos because the bomb was designed and placed to kill and injure a large number of foreigners and Thai nationals,” he said.
GPO / ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015