The explosion at the Erawan Shrine in the city centre has killed at least 20 people

Bishop Declan Lang, chair of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales’s International Affairs department, has called on Catholics to pray for the victims of yesterday’s bomb in Thailand.

The bomb exploded in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, at 7pm local time close to the Erawan Shrine – a popular tourist attraction.

According to The Guardian, the death toll currently stands at 22, while a further 123 people were injured in the blast.

Bishop Lang, who visited Thailand two years ago, said: “Catholics throughout England and Wales will be praying for the people of Thailand and all those affected by this appalling attack.”

He added: “I strongly recall the generous hospitality we received in Bangkok two years ago and wish to convey my solidarity with the local Church at this most challenging time.”

The Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha described the bombing as “the worst incident that has ever happened in Thailand.”

“There have been minor bombs or just noise, but this time they aim for innocent lives. They want to destroy our economy, our tourism,” he said.

Thai authorities are currently studying CCTV footage in an attempt to identify the perpetrators of the deadly attack