August 18, 2015 – A bomb explosion in Thailand’s capital of Bangkok yesterday left at least 21 people dead and over 120 wounded. The blast took place near Pathum Wan district’s popular Erawan Shrine complex, located in close proximity to the Ratchaprasong intersection.
Contrary to local media reports, the majority of business and transport services are expected to operate as normal. Road closures were effected in central Bangkok, but have begun to re-open, with the exception of the Skywalk elevated footpath, which remains partially closed. Skytrain remains operational.
A significant deployment of security forces will remain in the area and in the Silom, Thong Lo and Sukhumvit areas over the near-term. Travel disruptions as a result of salvage operations and elevated security measures are expected to persist in central Bangkok. Although Thailand carries a medium risk of terrorism, the latest incident is significant as it took place in Bangkok and was of a scale not previously experienced in the city.
Risk analysts at Red24 said while there have been no claims of responsibility for the attack, there is a possibility that the attack was orchestrated by Malay Muslim militants currently conducting an Islamist insurgency in the south of the country. Alternatively, it is a possible that a group or an individual with grievances against the political status quo, following a military coup in May 2014, could have been responsible for the 17 August attack.
Among the fatalities include Thai, Indonesian, Chinese, Hong Kong, Filipino, Singaporean and Malaysian nationals.