With reporting from Penny Yi Wang in Bangkok
Updated at 2:30pm with a statement from Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A Qatari man was among the more than 120 people injured in an explosion in Thailand on Monday, Thai officials have confirmed.
According to an official list of victims posted by the incident information coordination center, the man has been identified only as Essa and is at Bumrungrad International Hospital, one of Southeast Asia’s largest private hospitals.
Hospital officials were not immediately available to comment about Essa’s medical status.
However, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement in Arabic to Doha News that the man sustained “slight injuries” when passing “some distance” from the site of the incident in a taxi.
He is expected to be discharged from hospital today, MOFA added.
The ministry did not name him, but said he lived in Thailand without his family.
Addressing the issue of why the man wasn’t previously identified, the statement added: “We were careful not to provoke panic among his family or among the citizens who are brothers.”
News of an injured Qatari comes days after the Gulf country’s embassy in Thailand said all nationals in Bangkok at the time of the explosion were safe.
Speaking to Al Sharq on Monday, Ambassador Jaber bin Ali Al Dosri said the embassy has urged nationals to avoid crowded areas, such as the CentralWorld Shopping Plaza, one of the Thai capital’s main attractions.
“I have asked all fellow Qatari citizens to be careful especially during commuting and moving in and around tourist and commercial areas which are located in the heart of the city,” he said.
In a statement earlier this week, a MOFA representative condemned the blast, saying it aimed “to shake security and stability, to terrorize people, to claim innocent lives and to harm the economy of countries.”
The ministry also expressed condolences to the families of the victims and recovery wishes to the wounded.
Hunting for suspects
In addition to injuring more than 100 visitors, the bomb blast also killed 20 people, at least half of them foreigners. The explosion was at the Erawan shrine, a hotspot for Hindu and Buddhist tourists.
No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and authorities have not pointed any fingers, save to suggest the bomber “may be pursuing political gain or other intentions by damaging the economy and tourism,” the Thai prime minister said.
After studying days of CCTV footage, police have said the bomb was planted by a man in a yellow shirt who sat down on a bench in the shrine on Monday and left a backpack there. The blast went off minutes after he left.
The suspect was described as a dark-haired man with glasses and light facial hair.
He is thought to have at least two accomplices who were at the shrine at the time.