[BANGKOK] A bomb exploded outside a religious shrine in central Bangkok late Monday, killing at least 27 people and wounding scores more, according to local TV and the police.
Body parts were scattered across the street after the bomb went off outside the Erawan Shrine in the downtown Chidlom district of the Thai capital.
“All I can say is there has been an explosion in central Bangkok involving a motorcycle bomb,” deputy national police chief Aek Angsananond told Reuters.
Local media put the number of the wounded at 80.
A Reuters witness at the scene said she saw pieces of human flesh near the blast site, and a soldier later told onlookers to move back, saying they were checking for a second bomb.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The country has been riven for a decade by intense and sometimes violent rivalry between political factions in Bangkok and elsewhere.
The army has ruled Thailand since May 2014, when it ousted an elected government after months of, at times, violent anti-government protests.
The Erawan shrine, on a busy corner near top hotels, shopping centres and offices, is a major tourist attraction, especially for visitors from East Asia. Many ordinary Thais also worship there.