BANGKOK — A bomb exploded Monday evening at a popular shrine in the heart of Bangkok, an area frequented by thousands of tourists, office workers and shoppers, killing at least 16 people and injuring dozens of others, officials said.
The bomb exploded inside the Erawan Shrine, national police chief Somyot Poompummuang said. He said officials initially believed that a second bomb had been found in a bag nearby, but that it had been determined to be harmless.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bomb, which police said was made from a pipe wrapped in cloth. The Thai capital has been relatively peaceful since a military coup ousted a civilian government in May last year after several months of sometimes violent political protests against the previous government.
The shrine, a tourist landmark also popular with Thais, is located at the Rajprasong intersection, the site of many contentious political demonstrations in recent years and the center of one of Bangkok’s main shopping districts.