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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 18 October, 2019
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Bangkok bombing: 19 confirmed dead, 120 injured

Police confirm a bomb exploded in the downtown Chidlom district at about 7pm local time.

A HUGE EXPLOSION has killed a number of people outside a religious shrine in Bangkok.

Local media are reporting at least 27 dead, with up to as many as 120 injured. Reports say that four of those are foreigners, though none are believed to be Irish. Local police have confirmed that 19 people are dead, but that number is expected to rise.

“I can confirm it was a bomb, we can’t tell which kind yet, we are checking,” national police spokesman Lieutenant General Prawut Thavornsiri told AFP.

It is understood the device was detonated on a motorbike inside the shrine.

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Further reports have suggested that a second bomb was found and defused. Police say that they are looking for two to three more bombs.

The site of the bomb is at the Rajprasong intersection – the centre of recent political demonstrations.

AFP reports that it has seen casualties in the city’s commercial hub where the blast occurred. Other reporters on the scene in downtown Chidlom have come across body parts and people with severe injuries.

The shrine, situated next to three shopping malls in the city’s commercial hub, is hugely popular. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Brahma but is also visited by thousands of Buddhist devotees every day.

The surrounding shopping centres have been evacuated as police continue to comb the area.

No-one claimed responsibility for the attack, however, and it was unclear immediately who was responsible.

Islamic militants have carried out many attacks in other parts of Southeast Asia, including on Indonesia’s holiday island of Bali in 2002 that killed 202 people.

But they have not made Thailand a prime target.

A government spokesman said it was too early to speculate on who was behind the attack.

Protests

A worker at nearby Irish bar the Molly Malone, who visited the scene, said the area had been sealed off and that there was a heavy emergency services presence.

Speaking to Liveline, bar worker Tim said there had been widespread anti-government protests in the area in 2010.

He said there were major hotels and shopping centres in the area – and that it was a very popular spot with tourists.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has said there are no indications that there are any Irish people caught up in the tragedy but it inquiries have been made with the embassy in the city.

First published 1.30pm with reporting from AFP and Paul Hosford; More to follow 

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