Saturday 16 December 2017

More than 20 people hurt in Thai hospital explosion

Thai forensic officers remove evidence from Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok after a bomb blast (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Thai forensic officers remove evidence from Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok after a bomb blast (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Kaweewit Kaewjinda

More than 20 people have been injured after a bomb exploded at an army-run hospital in Bangkok on the third anniversary of the Thai military coup.

Investigators found remnants of batteries and wires at the scene of the blast on the ground floor of Phramongkutklao Hospital, said Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, Thailand's deputy national police chief.

It is not immediately clear who was behind the explosion, or if it was linked to the anniversary of the 2014 military coup that overthrew a democratically-elected government.

Army chief, General Chalermchai Sittisart, said it appears the explosion and two earlier blasts in recent weeks were part of an attempt to disrupt the government.

"All of this was conducted with the goal of creating disorder to the administrative work of the government and NCPO," he said, referring to the National Council for Peace and Order, the official name of the ruling junta.

He cautioned that "we shouldn't conclude anything yet" about who was behind the attack.

The blast wounded 21 people, one of them severely, said Lt Gen Saroj Kiewkajee, a hospital official. Thirteen were discharged soon after the explosion.

Earlier, police said 25 people had been wounded.

Phramongkutklao is a military-run hospital that is also open to civilians.

Since the 2014 coup, at least six explosions have occurred in Bangkok.

The army chief said two recent explosions were likely linked to Monday's blast. Last week, a bomb went off in front of the country's National Theatre, wounding two people.

Last month, a similar explosion took place in front of an old government lottery office, also wounding two.

Most of the bombs in Bangkok have caused only minor damage except for a blast in August 2015 that killed about 20 people near a popular Hindu shrine.

Press Association

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