Scourge of terrorism once again
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - August 18, 2015 - 10:00am

Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand. This popular Hindu shrine has joined the list of targets by terrorists. A powerful bomb exploded near the shrine in busy Bangkok last Monday evening. A large fireball and plumes of smoke immediately filled the area, at a time when tourists normally mill around. The shrine is popular among Hindus, as well as Buddhists and Sikhs in Bangkok. As the smoke cleared, bodies, some dismembered, were strewn all over the place, along with burning cars, motorcycles and bicycles. The injured were screaming, calling for help. Chaos ensued, with paramedics, rescue and health workers scrambling to get the seriously injured to nearby hospitals. The area is also close to popular hotels. Obviously, the target were tourists.

As of this writing, the body count is at twenty-two, with about one hundred twenty injured. In all likelihood, the number of dead victims will increase as the seriously wounded succumb to their injuries. Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but authorities are now investigating video that shows an "Arab-looking man" leaving a package near the shrine minutes before the blast. In as much as nobody wants to speculate, I can only raise my eyebrows.

But analysts are puzzled by the attack. Thailand is not known to be a target of religious fanaticism, that is mainly contained in the South of the country. Many believe the political unrest that the country experienced in the past years may have something to do with the blast, as this is the same place where protesters gathered in recent times. Targeting tourists will have a huge impact on the industry, as well as the economy of Thailand. This would fit the profile more than a religious attack.

For now, authorities are facing a blank wall. With no one coming forward, it is anyone's guess as to who would harm tourists, who do make up most of the dead and injured. There are reports that a Filipino was one of the victims. This has yet to be confirmed by the DFA. I hope it isn't true. The world once again has to deal with the scourge of terrorism. Cowards who target non-combatants because they just cannot win in a straight, head-on fight. I hope they are identified soon, and dealt with as they should be. In kind.

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