Bangkok bomb aftermath: What we do and do not know

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Tuesday 18 August 2015 09:30
news

Thailand's prime minister has called the bombing which killed at least 22 people in Bangkok on Monday the "worst ever attack" on the country.

The ruling military junta claimed on Tuesday that it had identified one suspect, believed to be from an "anti-government group based in Thailand's north-east", from CCTV footage taken near the blast.

In the video below, a man wearing a yellow t-shirt can be seen appearing to leave a backpack near the site moments before the explosion.

Here's everything we know

  • No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

  • Two other bombs were successfully detonated in the area.

  • On Monday, the Foreign Office updated its travel advice to warn that the threat of a terror attack is "highly likely".

Here's what we do not know

  • The identity of the attacker(s) behind the bombing and their motivation.

  • The identities of the victims.

  • Whether all potentially explosive devices have been found.

  • Why the shrine was targeted.

Here's what else has been reported

Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha promised on Tuesday that authorities would quickly track down those responsible for the attack (Picture: AP)
  • Thailand's ruling military junta said the attack was aimed at destroying the country's tourist industry.

  • Defence minister Prawit Wongsuwan said on Tuesday: “It is much clearer who the bombers are, but I can’t reveal right now. We have suspects. There are not many people.”

  • New video footage uploaded by a Chinese tourist shows the devastation and chaos caused by the bomb:

  • China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported that three nationals died in the attack.

  • Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian citizens are also reported to be among the dead.

Sofia Mitra-Thakur, reporting from Bangkok for the Independent, gives this background on Thailand's political climate:

Although Bangkok has experienced a period of relative calm since last year’s coup, there has been some tension in recent months, with the junta, which took power in May last year, making clear that it may not hold elections until 2017.

The last major bombings in Bangkok occurred on New Year’s Eve at the end of 2006, when a series of bombs at celebrations killed at least three people and wounded dozens.

Those bombings occurred just three months after a military coup toppled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and there was speculation that his supporters carried out the attacks in revenge.

However, the bombings were never solved. Attacks are more common in southern Thailand, where a Muslim insurgency has been flaring for several years.

Follow the Independent's Bangkok bomb live blog here.

More: Video captures the moment bomb goes off in Bangkok tourist hotspot

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