Bombs rattle Bangkok during Asean summit

Bombs rattle Bangkok during Asean summit

Three people hurt in incidents apparently intended to embarrass government during international event

A policeman at the scene of one of the explosions
A policeman at the scene of one of the explosions

Several bombs exploded in Bangkok on Friday morning, injuring three people, as the capital hosted an Asean foreign ministers’ summit also attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Chinese counterpart.

Several bombs exploded in Bangkok on Friday morning, injuring three people, as the capital hosted an Asean foreign ministers’ summit also attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Chinese counterpart.

A total of six bombs detonated at three locations and one explosive device was recovered before it blew up, a senior police officer said.

Pol Col Kamtorn Uicharoen said three bombs exploded at the Government Complex on Chaeng Watthana Road and one failed to go off. Two others went off near the Chong Nonsi BTS station.

“The bombs in these two areas were improvised explosive devices triggered by timer,” he said.

A “ping-pong bomb” exploded in the Suan Luang area, he said. 

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha was told of the incidents “and has ordered an immediate investigation”, government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said, adding “security measures have been tightened. The public is urged not to panic”.

Two women street cleaners were injured by one explosion in a soi off Rama IX Road, the Erawan Emergency Centre told AFP.

A second explosion shattered glass near a downtown skyscraper. Bomb disposal experts were deployed around the King Power MahaNakhon tower off Sathon Road not far from the Chong Nonsi station.

A message posted on the prime minister’s Facebook page on Friday said, “I condemn the mastermind behind this morning’s bomb blasts, which destroy people and the country’s image. I have asked officials to beef up security for members of the public and take urgent care of those affected by the explosions.’’

“Security measures have been tightened. The public is urged not to panic,” Ms Narumon said.

Small devices exploded at several locations. They appeared to be symbolic attacks aimed at embarrassing the government during a major international event but not designed to cause mass casualties.

“Three people received slight injuries from shrapnel,” said Renu Suesattaya, director of Suan Luang district, where the first explosions were reported.

“I received a report that they are ‘ping pong bombs’ hidden in bushes by the road.”

“We do not know yet how many people are involved,” Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon told reporters, adding that “people who do it want to stir the situation”.

The bombings took place just before a keynote speech by Pompeo.

The government urged the media to avoid speculation on the motive for the bombings.


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