Bomb attack on Erawan Shrine in Bangkok

There has been a large explosion close to a shrine in the centre of the Thai capital, Bangkok. According to early reports from Reuters, local media are reporting that five people have been killed and 20 wounded. The attack took place close to the Erawan Shrine in the capital’s central Chidlom district.

Jonathan Head, a BBC correspondent at the scene, said there was a “huge amount of chaos, with body parts scattered everywhere”.

The Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, that houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma. A popular tourist attraction, it often features performances by resident Thai dance troupes, who are hired by worshippers in return for seeing their prayers at the shrine answered.

One of the least known and least publicised current wars involving Islamic extremists is the ongoing jihad in southern Thailand. Muslim separatists in the southernmost portion of the country have been committing a seemingly unending series of terror attacks on Thai Buddhists, on other Muslims (apparently as punishment for not supporting the violence) and on the Thai police and military. This has been going on at least since 2004 since which time more than 5,000 people have been killed.

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