Thai Brahma temple reopens for worshippers and tourists

Bangkok: Thailand's Erawan Brahma temple, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok, was reopened on Wednesday for worshippers and tourists three days after a blast at the shrine killed 20 people, as police intensified their hunt for a suspect believed to be the bomber.

Buddhist monks led prayers at the shrine as it reopened this morning while devotees laid bundles of clothes to represent the lost loved ones.

The powerful blast on Monday evening killed 20 people at the shrine, situated at the corner of a busy intersection dotted with high end shopping malls and luxury hotels. Nine foreigners were killed in the attack, which was described by authorities as the "worst" in Thai history.

Meanwhile, seven bodies remained unidentified in the wake of bloody bomb blast, Nation newspaper reported.

Authorities were still struggling to identify seven of the dead. Four were women, one a girl, and another a man. The seventh body was beyond recognition.

Meanwhile, security officials intensified their hunt for a man in a yellow T-shirt who was captured by a CCTV camera putting his backpack under a bench at the shrine and leaving the scene shortly before the blast.

A motorcycle taxi man told police that the suspect hired him for a drop to the nearby business district of Silom.

National police chief General Somyot Poompanmuang said the suspect may have been wearing a wig to disguise himself and may not have been acting alone.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-O-cha on Tuesday vowed to capture the bomber and asked media not to speculate. The authorities are still waiting for lab-test results before confirming the type of bomb that was used to stage the attack. Tests can identify the type of gunpowder from soot found on victims' clothes and tissue," local media quoted unnamed sources as saying.

"From there, we will be able to trace precursor materials of the bomb".

Poompanmuang said the blast had caused some damage to the gilded Brahma statue's chin and right arm.

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