Six bomb blasts hit Bangkok early Friday, injuring at least four people, as Thailand was hosting a high-level meeting attended by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his counterparts from China and other Asia-Pacific countries.
The devices were found or detonated in at least six different locations, including two bombs at stations of the capital’s elevated Skytrain rail system.
Other locations include a government complex on the outskirts of the city, and near the offices of a company associated with supporters of the current Thai government.
Officials say no one was seriously hurt by the explosions. Among the injured were three women cleaning the streets, while a fourth person was wounded after an explosion at one of Bangkok's tallest buildings, the 77-story King Power Mahanakhon building.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered an investigation into the bombings and urged the public not to panic.
“A group of ill-intended people have recently incited violence while the government is propelling the country forward.”
“A group of ill-intended people have recently incited violence while the government is propelling the country forward,” Prayuth’s office said in a statement.
“I would like to condemn those causing the situation which destroys peace and damages the country's image,” he also wrote in a tweet.
The bombings come as Thailand is hosting this week the annual meeting of foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), though none of the blasts disrupted the proceedings.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan was asked by the media whether the bombing could be related to the junta’s recent relinquishing of power as Thailand only recently ended five years of military rule following a 2014 coup, though he said “I don’t know either, let authorities investigate first.”
This isn’t the first time violence occurred as Thailand was hosting an ASEAN event. In 2009, supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra – the main rivals of the current prime minister – stormed a hotel in the resort city of Pattaya, where an ASEAN meeting was taking place, in a bid to force out a government of their opponents. The ASEAN leaders were forced to flee, some by helicopter, and the summit canceled.
Authorities said Thursday that they found two fake bombs outside their headquarters in central Bangkok near the venue of the current meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers. Two men were arrested in connection with the incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.