As many as 27 people have been reported killed and dozens wounded in an explosion near a shrine in the center of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, as the death toll continues to rise.
Police and Thai officials confirmed the explosion was caused by a bomb. Many foreign tourists are believed to be among the dead.
“It was a TNT bomb… the people who did it targeted foreigners and to damage tourism and the economy,” Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwong said.
The attack took place near the Hindu Erawan Shrine in Bangkok’s Chidlom district, during the height of rush hour.
At least 15 people were killed according to official sources, while Thailand’s Nation TV claimed the toll was as high as 27.
Several international journalists at the scene have reported gruesome scenes, with body parts strewn across the site of the attack.
Some reports suggest the bomb was on a motorbike, though it is not clear whether the vehicle was parked or detonated by a suicide bomber.
Just minutes after the attack, pictures and videos from the attack scene began circulating on social media.