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    Aug 18, 2015

    Explosion outside shrine involved 'm-cycle bomb'


    A BOMB exploded outside a shrine in downtown Bangkok last evening, and police said at least 10 people were killed.

    "As far as I know, there are more than 10 people dead, many injured. Our initial findings are that it was a bomb inside the shrine," Thailand's police chief Chakthip Chijinda told Channel 9 television, reported Agence France-Presse.

    "All I can say now is there has been an explosion in central Bangkok involving a motorcycle bomb," deputy national police chief Aek Angsananond told Reuters.

    The media said at least 20 people were wounded.

    Body parts were scattered across the street after the explosion at the Erawan Shrine in the Chidlom district of the Thai capital.

    The explosion occurred around 7pm local time at the Ratchaprasong intersection, which has been the centre of political demonstrations in recent years.

    The Erawan is a popular shrine dedicated to the Hindu god Brahma, and is visited by thousands of Buddhist devotees every day.

    It is located on a main road that runs through Bangkok's commercial hub, surrounded by three major shopping malls and near a five-star hotel.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

    The Thai authorities are fighting a low-level Muslim insurgency in the predominantly Buddhist country's south, but those rebels have rarely launched attacks outside their ethnic Malay heartland.

    Thailand has also 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. AGENCIES