Pattaya Daily News

23 April 2010 :: 12:04:40 pm 18761

Counter Rallies & Grenade Attacks Set Scene in Bangkok

Up to five M-79 grenades have been fired into the heart of active protests by pro-government supporters on Thursday. At present there are conflicting reports on the casualties although government reports state 3 deaths and up to 75 injured.
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Bangkok, the 22nd of April 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: During duel protests at the Sala Daeng intersection along Bangkok’s Silom Road up to five M-79 grenades have been fired into a group of anti-Red Shirt protesters who had gathered under the nearby BTS Sky train station. The pro-government, multi-coloured shirt protesters, had gathered on Wednesday in response to the Red Shirts apparent movement on the Silom business district. Hiding behind barricades made of car tyres and bamboo the two sides threw projectiles at each other on Wednesday night until the confrontation descended into chaos on Thursday following a barrage of grenade attacks.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban revealed that 3 people have died as a result of the most recent attacks whilst Thai Public Broadcasting Services state that only one Thai woman had died along with 75 injured, including 3 foreigners.

Although no reports indicate that the Reds are directly responsible for the attacks, projectile analysis suggests that the grenades had been fired from Lumpini Park or from a red-shirt stage close to the Sala Daeng intersection, both within the ‘Red-Zone.’ Following these reports Mr. Thaugsuban urged all protesters to stay out of the 400-meter range of the M-79 grenade launchers.

At present security forces have been held back from attempts to disperse the two groups of protesters, due to statements made by Prime Minister Abhisit explaining that it was too difficult at night-time with a large gathering of woman and children mingling in the crowd. Police had earlier made an attempt to push back the anti-red protesters, for their own safety, amidst a volley of projectiles and insults. The attempted push was called off after several security lights had been damaged plunging the area into darkness.

The latest update, states that the Red Shirts have agreed to move their protests back down Silom Road by 100 meters to avoid any further violence. They have refused, however, to dismantle their crude barricades made of spiked bamboo sticks and car tyres.

Photographer: Newley Purnell (www.newley.com)

Reporter : John Weston   Category : Politics News

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