Thailand’s defence minister, Prawit Wongsuwan, has said that Tuesday ‘s bomb that killed 21 people at a busy junction in the capital Bangkok was deliberately targeted at foreigners in order to hurt the country’s tourism and its economy.
Tourism is one of the mainstay of Thailand contributing over 20 per cent of the country’s GDP, according to the World travel and tourism Council.
The attack, which occurred near a Hindu shrine also injured 120 other people.
The Erawan Shrine is a major tourist attraction. Two Filipinos and one Chinese are said to be among those killed in the blast.
Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack. But Mr. Wongsuwan said the government will find and hunt down the perpetrators.
“We will hunt them down,” he said.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the government was setting up a “war room” to co-ordinate its response, according to the Nation TV channel of Thailand.
The bomb was detonated at about 19:00 local time (12:00 GMT) on Monday and the busy Ratchaprasong junction was crowded when the explosion occurred.
National police chief, Somyot Poompummuang, said the device was a “pipe bomb” and said it had been placed inside the shrine.
He said 3kg of TNT had been used in the bomb.
“Whoever planted this bomb is cruel and aimed to kill. Planting a bomb there means they want to see a lot of people dead,” he said.