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Will Bomb Attacks Keep Tourists Away From Thailand?

A pipe bomb exploded and killed at least 20 people at a Hindu shrine in Bangkok on Monday evening. (Screenshot/YouTube)
A pipe bomb exploded and killed at least 20 people at a Hindu shrine in Bangkok on Monday evening. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the brutal bomb attack that killed 22 people and injured 123 at a Hindu shrine on the corner of a busy intersection in a ritzy commercial part of Bangkok on Monday night.

Among the dead were 11 foreigners, 3 of whom were from China.

Marko Cunningham, a New Zealand paramedic who has worked in Thailand for 15 years, attended to the wounded at the site of the bomb blast.

“I have never seen injuries like it,” Cunningham told the UK’s Telegraph. “These poor people had been shredded. There were so many holes in them that I didn’t know where to start trying to patch them up. The survivors were in a state of complete shock. We had to pull the bodies of the dead to reach those who were still alive. Their friends and loved ones had taken the full impact of the blast, and that is what saved them.”

See the BBC’s report on the awful incident:

On Tuesday, another bomb attack occurred at a Chao Phraya River boat terminal popular with tourists and local commuters. Thankfully, there were no casualties.

What occurred on Monday night at the Erawan Shrine is different to other numerous anonymous bomb attacks that have occurred in the Thai capital over the past decade that were typically smaller in scale. Foreigners also tended not to be victims.

Below is a map showing you the location of the Erawan Shrine where the bomb attack occurred.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyG9k3YU_GI

Erawan Shrine, where the bomb attack occurred. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Matthew Wheeler, from the International Crisis Group, told AP that what occurred was a “new type of attack for Bangkok” that doesn’t bear the characteristics of the usual violence in recent times, be it political instability or the Muslim separatists in the country’s south.

“It is certainly not like politically motivated attacks we’ve seen in the past, which have generally been designed to grab attention but not cause casualties,” Wheeler said, adding that he anticipated that the bombing will have “major ramifications for security in Thailand.”

Below is a collection of footage taken mostly by members of the Thai public near the scene of the bomb attack:

It’s much too early to start pointing fingers, but given Thailand’s political turbulence in the past decade, there is a sense of déjà vu for some people.

“There’ve just been so many problems in Thailand over the years,” Australian computer programmer Howard Fenton, 50, told AFP. “You sort of hope that it’s going to go away, but when it comes back again it’s pretty shocking. And coming this violently is a real worry.” he said. “I really hope sense will prevail and it doesn’t spiral into something really, really shocking.”

CCTV footage has emerged of a man that the Thai police are looking for in connection to the shrine bombing.

In the video, the man leaves a backpack on a bench seat and walks away. See the video below:

Among the ramifications of the bombing upon the country’s economy is how it will affect tourism, which we’d have to surmise was part of the bomber’s intent, given their targets.

According to the Bangkok Post, 23 countries have issued travel advisories in the wake of Monday’s bombing, but most advised for caution rather than avoiding traveling to Thailand. Tourism accounts for 10 per cent of Thailand’s GDP.

See what these tourists in Bangkok have to say below about the bomb attacks:

Sathorn Pier, where Tuesday’s lesser bombing occurred, is used by tourists and locals for ferry transport. It’s especially frequented by backpackers going to Khao San Road or by others wanting to see the Grand Palace.

“I thought it was a one-off when I heard the explosion on Monday night,” said Sam Davies, a British tourist speaking to the Telegraph. “But I’m a bit freaked out after the second blast. I’m really not sure if someone is targeting tourists in Bangkok.”

Thai police believe that both attacks were carried out by the same bombers, reports the Bangkok Post.

See the CCTV footage below of the bomb attack at Sathorn Pier:

See some of the tweets covering the tragedy below.

shrine vigil BBC more BBC flowers cry gggggggggggg skytrain blood

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