Six explosions, one close to a famous skyscraper, have hit Bangkok today as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attended a regional security summit. unconfirmed reports suggest that other devices were found across the town.
At least four people were hurt on Friday when many small bombs went off in the Thai capital Bangkok during the morning rush hour, police said.
The explosions sounded as the town hosted a regional security meeting of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) along with representatives from the U. S., China, and Russia.
One blast hit the city’s Suanluang district, a short distance from the international airport.
“Three people received slight injuries from shrapnel,” local official Renu Suesattaya told the Agence France-Presse press agency.
Government and business districts hit
At least 3 other bombs detonated within the area around a government complex hosting several ministries on the northern side of the town.
Thai media reported 2 further blasts near a Skytrain station in the city’s Silom business district, including one close to a famous downtown skyscraper.
Eyewitnesses said a guard was hurt close to the 77-story King Power Mahanakhon building. Police cordoned off near streets and conducted a full search of the area.
There were unconfirmed reports of several other devices being found across the city. Police said one small explosive was recovered before it blew up.
Prime minister orders probe
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha immediately ordered an investigation into the blasts.
“I would like to condemn those causing a situation which destroys peace and damages the country’s image. I have schooled officials to take care of public safety and those affected promptly,” he said.
“เหตุการณ์ระเบิดเช้าวันนี้ ผมขอประณามผู้ที่อยู่เบื้องหลังการสร้างสถานการณ์ ที่ทำลายความสงบสุขและภาพลักษณ์ประเทศ ผมได้สั่งการให้เจ้าหน้าที่ดูแลความปลอดภัยของประชาชนและ ผู้ที่ได้รับผลกระทบโดยเร่งด่วนแล้วครับ”— ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา Prayut Chan-o-cha (@prayutofficial) August 2, 2019
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts. Thailand has a long history of political violence linked to mass protests, coups, and temporary governments.
Bangkok was hit by a series of small bomb blasts in 2017 in opposition to Thailand’s then-military junta. One man was imprisoned for planting a bomb that wounded 21 people at a hospital.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and China’s prime diplomat Wang Yi is in the Thai capital on Friday to attend the regional security meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).