Human rights watchdog condemns Thailand hospital bomb


Human rights watchdog condemns Thailand hospital bomb

Police in Thailand say a bomb blast at a Bangkok army hospital on Monday has wounded 25 people.

The area of the city where the explosion happened is popular with tourists who come to see the nearby Victory Monument.

Although the hospital which is located in Bangkok " s Ratchathewi district, near the Victory Monument, is administered and run by the military, it also opens its doors to the public seeking medical treatment.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the explosion or if it was linked to the anniversary of the 2014 military coup, which overthrew a democratically elected government amid sometimes violent street protests staged by its opponents and supporters.

It comes just weeks after more than 50 people were injured in a double explosion at a shopping centre in Pattani, southern Thailand.

Yesterday " s bombing incident at military-run Pramongkutklao Hospital occurred at Wongsuwan Room, which was named in honour of Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan when he was the Army chief.

"We can confirm at this stage that it is a bomb", he said.

He also said the authorities would coordinate with police to review security around the country.

"All of this was conducted with the goal of creating disorder to the administrative work of the government and NCPO, " he said.

Human Rights Watch described the attack as a "cruel and inhumane action which grossly violates human rights".

A Thai military personnel uses a video camera to make a record of visitors at an entrance of the Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, May 23, 2017. The blast radius from the explosion was 2-3 metres, police said.

The junta says its 2014 coup - the 12th time generals have successfully seized power - was needed to bring stability and root out corruption. Similar pipe bombs exploded in front of Bangkok's National Theater in Bangkok on May 15, and near the Government Lottery Office on April 5.

Thai forensic collect evidence at Phramongkutklao Hospital, a military-owned hospital that is also open to civilians, in Bangkok after a bomb wounded more than 20 people, in Bangkok Monday, May 22, 2017.

"This bomb was meant to cause casualties as it was packed with a large number of nails, " Gen Chalermchai said.

But Thailand has been rocked by attacks, including a series of explosions past year at beach locations and a bomb at a Bangkok shrine popular with Asian tourists in 2015, which raised questions about safety.

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