British woman among those killed in Bangkok attack

22 people were killed in Monday’s blast near a popular shrine in the Thai capital

Thai police release CCTV footage of a suspect in the the bombing of a popular shrine that killed 22 people in the capital Bangkok. Video: Reuters

 

A British woman living in Hong Kong was among the 22 people killed in a bomb near a shrine in the Thai capital Bangkok on Monday.

British foreign secretary Philip Hammond condemned the attack and said British embassy staff in Thailand were assisting the woman’s family.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of a man who entered the shrine shortly before the blast could shed light on who was behind the unprecedented attack.

The video, taken from cameras near the glittering Hindu shrine in the city‘s bustling commercial hub on Monday, shows the young man, whom authorities have identified as a suspect, in a bright yellow T-shirt with an indiscernible motif and shorts.

He walks calmly into the tourist attraction with a backpack and then sits down.

Moments later, he takes the backpack off, stands up and walks out holding only a blue plastic bag and what appears to be a mobile phone. The rucksack is left by a fence as tourists mill around, taking photographs of a statue of the Hindu god Brahma.

Footage taken from a different angle shows the man, with shaggy, black hair and wearing what appear to be wrist bands, leaving the temple and heading towards the upscale Grand Hyatt Erawan hotel, just yards away.

The time stamp on the video at that point is just after 6.40pm.

The bomb went off during rush hour on Monday as tourists prayed at the shrine and office workers were commuting home.

The explosion, which was heard just before 7.00pm, unleashed havoc. Early responders and journalists who arrived at the scene were confronted with scenes of blood-smeared pavements, shattered glass and pieces of human flesh.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has said there is nothing to suggest that any Irish citizens or ex-patriots were affected by the bombing, but they are making enquiries locally.

No group has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack. The military government said it had not ruled out any group but has yet to publicly offer any plausible answers.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha also referred to the man as a suspect without giving details. He said there were “still anti-government groups out there”, although he did not elaborate.

Police were deployed to the blood-splattered site on Tuesday, some wearing white gloves and carrying plastic bags, searching for clues to an attack that could dent tourism and investor confidence.

The Thai baht fell 0.57 per cent to 35.57 baht, its weakest in more than six years, on concern the bombing may scare off visitors. Thai stocks fell as much as 3 per cent.

Reuters