Aftermath of Bangkok Explosion
Aftermath of Bangkok Explosion Reuters

The State Department in Washington on Monday said it was too soon to tell if a blast at a renowned shrine in Bangkok that killed at least 16 people was a terrorist attack, Reuters reported.

State spokesman John Kirby said authorities in Thailand were investigating and had not requested assistance from U.S. officials so far.

A bomb planted at one of the Thai capital's most renowned shrines on Monday killed 16 people, including three foreign tourists, and wounded scores in an attack the government called a bid to destroy the economy.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast at the Erawan shrine at a major city-center intersection. Thai forces are fighting a low-level Muslim insurgency in the predominantly Buddhist country's south, but those rebels have rarely launched attacks outside their heartland.

Nati Hadad, a member of the Ko Samui search and rescue team at the site, said earlier on Monday that no Israelis were among the dead in the blast.

A number of Israelis living in Thailand told the Hebrew-language Walla! news website that the explosion was indeed an attack and that the area, filled with shopping centers, is popular among Israeli tourists.