A bomb has exploded at a Hindu shrine in central Bangkok, killing at least 18 people and wounding scores more.
Body parts and mangled scooters were scattered across the street after the explosion at about 7pm local time (12noon GMT) at the Erawan shrine in the central Chidlom district of the Thai capital.
At least 10 Thais, one Chinese and one Filipino citizen are among the 18 dead, according to the national police chief Somyot Poompanmuang, who called the perpetrators of the attack “cruel" for targeting a religious shrine at a busy period.
“Those who have planted this bomb are cruel," said Poompanmuang. “They aim to kill because everyone knows that at 7pm the shrine is crowded with Thais and foreigners. Planting a bomb there means they want to see a lot of dead people."
A potential second device that sparked a security alert was found to be harmless, police said.
Dozens of ambulances were at the scene and a nearby metro station was closed. Medics and police formed a line at the large intersection and walked slowly forward, looking for any debris from the blast.
At least 18 people were confirmed dead and 117 injured, according to the Narinthorn emergency medical rescue centre.