Bangkok was hit by a major explosion today in which at least 12 persons have died and several others were injured. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks as of now.
Thailand police will investigate who is beyond this attack but the top priority now are rescue operations. [Bangkok blast: Several killed, many injured]
However, one thing is clear and that is the attackers had intended to inflict maximum damage considering the area in which the bomb was placed.
Who could be behind the blasts?
The Thailand police have been fighting Muslim insurgency for sometime now. The insurgency has not been of a very high level, but has been causing a worry for the security agencies in Thailand. There is an eye of suspicion on the Muslim separatists who operate from the South of Thailand.
The separatists have been involved in a battle since the past ten years and often been violent in their approach. They had in fact planted two pipe bombs outside a mall in the same area last February. However, the impact of the blast was low at that time.
The area at which the blast took place has been witness to several protests in the past.
Since May 2014, there have been violent protests ever since the government was overthrown by the military.
Protests had been intense in the same area in the year 2010 when former Prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted. Several persons were killed in the protests.
Blast aimed at hurting economy:
A while ago, the Thailand government issued a statement in which it was said that the blast was intended at destroying tourism and economy of Thailand.
The bomb was planted near the Erawan Shrine which sees several persons daily. The Shrine is on a busy corner where there are scores of hotels and shopping centres.
It is a major tourist destination. This would clearly suggest the intent was to inflict maximum damage and hurt both tourism and also the economy.