PM asks people to avoid crowded parties
Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has asked people to refrain from joining crowded new year party following at least seven bomb attacks in Bangkok.
Thai New Agency quoted Surayud as asking people wishing to join new year party on Sunday night to avoid crowded areas.
The premier has ordered all security officers; police and soldiers, to reinforce in many areas in Bangkok. He ordered crime scene inspectors to collect all evidences from the attack scenes in order to know which groups mastermind the attacks.
Seven explosives went off almost simultaneously in Bangkok, killing three and injuring at least 20 people, as the revellers were about to start celebrating the New Year's eve.
Two people were killed and 20 injured at the Victory Monument when a powerful bomb went off near a bus station at about 6.30 pm. The bomb ripped through the bus stops, shattered windows at the nearby restaurant and sending debris in all directions.
At least one person was killed near the Klong Toei area near the Na Ranong intersection, around the same time, a bomb hidden in a trash can near a Chinese spirit shrine exploded and injured three pedestrians. The explosion caused a secondary explosion to a number of cookinggas cylinders that were situated nearby.
One person was seriously injured near the Big C supermarket at the Sapan Kwai branch where witnesses saw a man dropped a grenade from a pedestrian bridge onto the police box. Residue of C4 and TNT were found at the scene, an iTV reporter said, quoting an unnamed military source.
At the Seacon Square Shopping Mall, a loud explosion went off at the parking space, creating a panic but no injury. Authorities ordered all shoppers, about 10,000 at the time, to evacuate the mall, one of Bangkok largest, and all shops to close down for business.
A police box at the entrance of Sukhumvit Road, Soi 62 was also hit with a bomb. No injury was reported.
Another police box was hit near the Khae Rai intersection in Nonthaburi province just north of Bangkok with a bomb but not injury reported said Police spokesman Pol General Ajiravid Subarnbhesaj said.
A bomb went off in the compound of the Tesco Lotus Supermarket at the Prachachuen branch.
Soldiers were dispatched to some of the sites where the bombs went off, while other major shopping complex, including the Central Chidlom and Siam Paragon department stores, closed its door earlier.
Deputy Governor of Bangkok, Wallop Suwandee, announced that all the events designated for the New Year's even countdown celebration have been cancelled.
Government's spokesman Yongyuth Malyalarp urged the public to remain calm, adding that police officers have been instructed to stay on high alert, including areas where high concentration of people are expected to take part in the New Year's count down.
"Police reinforcement have been sent to various areas in the city. We urged the public to remain calm, continue with the celebration but at the same time keep a look out for any irregularities," Yongyuth said.