At least four people have been injured after several small bombs exploded in Bangkok late last week, as the city hosted a regional security meeting of foreign ministers.
Deutsche Welle reported six small explosions had been let off across Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, on Friday, resulting in at least four people being injured.
One blast reportedly hit Bangkok’s Suan Luang district, just over 15 kilometres from Suvarnabhumi Airport.
“Three people received slight injuries from shrapnel,” local official Renu Suesattaya, the director of the Suan Luang region, told Agence France-Presse.
“I received a report that they are pingpong bombs (small sized bombs) hidden in bushes by the road,” Suesattaya said.
According to Deutsche Welle, eyewitnesses said a security guard was hurt close to the King Power Mahanakhon skyscraper, which is located in the Si Lom business district.
“At least three other bombs” reportedly exploded in the area around a government complex on the northern side of the city, while local authorities reported two further blasts near the Chong Nonsi BTS station in the city’s Si Lom business district, with one reportedly close to a famous downtown skyscraper.
One device was reportedly recovered by police before it was able to blow up, while there were unconfirmed reports of several other devices found across the city.
“The bombs in these two areas were improvised explosive devices triggered by timer,” Police colonel Kamtorn Uicharoen told the Bangkok Post.
Deutsche Welle reported that Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha has ordered an investigation into the blasts.
“I would like to condemn those causing a situation which destroys peace and damages the country’s image. I have instructed officials to take care of public safety and those affected promptly,” he said.
Two men were reported arrested following the bombings, though it is unclear what their connection to the bombings may be.
Information made available to Deutsche Welle “showed the men had no discernible connection to the attack”, despite the men being detained after “wires and ball bearings” were reportedly found in an inactive device outside police headquarters.
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts.
The city was in the process of hosting a regional security meeting of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), along with representatives from the United States, China and Russia.
Among those in attendance for the ASEAN Thailand 2019 meeting was US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was reportedly tasked with “reassuring” Asian allies that the US remains an important player in the region, according to SBS News. The meeting reportedly came in the wake of the US scrapping a nuclear arms pact with Russia on Friday.
This came a day before Pompeo landed in Sydney on Saturday ahead of bi-lateral talks with Australian parliamentarians.
Travel Weekly does not speculate any connection between the ASEAN Thailand 2019 meeting and the bombings that occurred across the city on the same day.
Following the bombings, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade updated its travel advice for visits to Thailand, but did not change the level of caution.
“On 2 August, a series of explosions occurred in public areas throughout Bangkok, including near Chong Nonsi BTS station and outside several Thai Government buildings. We haven’t changed the level – exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand overall. Higher levels apply in some parts of the country,” an announcement issued on Smartraveller.gov.au reads.
Travel Weekly has contacted Tourism Authority of Thailand for comment regarding its advice for travel professionals.