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Investigation underway at Bangkok blast site

Bangkok, Thailand -- Police began cleaning up the scene of Monday's bombing and looking for clues at the shrine where 19 people died in an unprecedented attack in the Thailand capital Bangkok.

A bomb planted at one of the Thai capital's most renowned shrines on Monday killed 19, 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-centre 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.

National police chief Somyot Poompanmuang told local media the explosion was caused by a pipe bomb placed inside the Erawan shrine.

The shrine, on a busy corner near top hotels, shopping centres, offices and a hospital, is a major attraction, especially for visitors from East Asia, including China. Many ordinary Thais also worship there.