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Explosives Cause Minor Damage Near Bangkok Luxury Mall

  • VOA News

Thai police forensic officers investigate near the front of the Siam Paragon shopping mall, the site of a blast in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 1, 2015.

Thai police forensic officers investigate near the front of the Siam Paragon shopping mall, the site of a blast in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 1, 2015.

Two bombs have damaged an electrical transformer outside an upscale shopping mall in Bangkok, the first such incident since Thailand's military seized power in May to end months of sometimes deadly street protests in the city.

Police say the devices went off about 8 p.m. (1300 GMT) Sunday outside the Siam Paragon mall, which contains more than 270 stores. One person was slightly injured.

“There were improvised explosive devices detonated by a digital clock,” said Police Lieutenant General Prawut Thawonrsiri, a spokesman for the Royal Thai Police.

Prawut said the motive of the attack appeared to be to create panic rather than take lives.

No one has claimed responsibility for the explosions.

Political tensions

The incident comes at a time of slightly raised political temperatures in Thailand, as the country's ruling junta has tightened its clampdown on critics of its rule.

Last month, a national assembly hand-picked by the junta banned former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from politics for five years.

The same day, the country's attorney general said she would face charges and a possible jail sentence for negligence. The decisions angered supporters of Yingluck and her exiled brother Thaksin.

Ten years of turbulent politics in Thailand have pitted Yingluck and Thaksin, himself a former prime minister, against the royalist-military establishment that sees the Shinawatras as a threat and reviles their populist policies.

Some material for this report came from Reuters, AP and AFP.

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