A video has shows the moment a huge explosion took place in Bangkok, which is reported to have claimed the lives of at least 12 people, with another 20 injured.

The CCTV footage, posted on Twitter by local journalist Thanya Pradesh, shows people walking along the pavement by the Ratchaprasong road junction in the Thai capital, when a bright blast of orange flame appears in the distance, causing people to run away to safety.

The explosion occurred at around 7pm local time (12pm GMT), with Reuters quoting Thai police as confirming a bomb blast took place by the Hindu shrine.

Deputy national police chief Aek Angsananond told Reuters: "All I can say now is there has been an explosion in central Bangkok involving a motorcycle bomb."

The Erawan Shrine, located near hotels, offices and a shopping centre, is a major tourist attraction for visitors from East Asia. Near the busy Ratchaprasong road intersection, many ordinary Thais also worship there.

Ratchaprasong has been at the centre of many heated political demonstrations in recent years. Thai forces are fighting a low-level Muslim insurgency in the predominantly Buddhist country's south, although those rebels have rarely launched attacks outside their ethnic Malay heartland.

The country has also been riven for a decade by intense and sometimes violent rivalry between political factions in Bangkok and elsewhere. The army has ruled Thailand since May 2014, when it ousted an elected government after months of, at times, violent anti-government protests.