Pattaya Daily News

01 September 2010 :: 11:09:10 am 37232

Bomb Blast at Thai National Television Center in Bangkok

Another suspected grenade has been exploded in front of Thailand’s national television center Tuesday. Condemning the incident, in which no one was hurt or killed, the government has insinuated that recent attacks are aimed at causing widespread panic in the capital.
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Bangkok, the 31st of August 2010: Despite the lack of casualties, Tuesday’s incident caused significant collateral damage to public and private property outside the premises, with six vehicles damaged in the blast, one severely.

The building, housing the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand has worn several attacks in recent times, this instance the third such attack in 2010. The first two attacks happened in March and April of this year, during anti-government Red Shirt protests in the capital.

The National Television Center, a state-run operation, was targeted by protesting Red Shirts over a perceived bias in their coverage of the demonstrations in Bangkok and subsequent cutting of pro-Red Shirt media channels and programs from Thai television. Four people were injured in the March attack, while April’s disturbance resulted in no injuries or death.

Witnesses at the scene of this most recent attack explained that an ‘item’ was seen hitting a tree moments before the explosion, leading officials to believe that it was a grenade attack similar to the recent King Power duty free shopping center attack.

Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said “Based on circumstantial evidence it’s likely to have been caused by an M-79 (grenade). The attack was an attempt to create disturbance and to panic people and show there are loopholes in the government’s measures,” he added.

Bangkok, still under the government imposed emergency decree, has worn the brunt of a wave of random bombing/grenade attacks in recent months, with a second attack at the King Power duty free shopping center occurring last week. That instance, believed to be the result of a thrown M-67 grenade, critically injuring one man and damaged several windows at the popular shopping mall.

At present, authorities have made little progress in their apprehension of suspects, however a man linked to Red Shirt protesters has been detained over his involvement in the initial King Power attack in July. The suspect, Mr. Sorathien Singkanya, has since admitting to owning the device used in the attack, which injured one woman, but denies placing or detonating the device.

The controversial emergency decree, branded as a breach of international human rights laws, remains in place on the capital and six other provinces in Thailand. Thai intelligence agencies still proclaim that the presence of ‘underground’ movements aimed at inflicting chaos and panic in the seven regions remain heavily active.

The capital has been under emergency rule since April 7 in response to anti-government “Red Shirt” protests, in which 91 people died and about 1,900 were injured in clashes between protesters and the army. A large majority of reported deaths and injuries occurred during the military led operation to disband the majority peaceful anti-government protests on May 19th.

Meanwhile, following the lifting of the emergency decree in Thailand’s northern province of Chiang Mai, considered a major stronghold of the Red Shirts, protesters took to the streets yesterday in a display aimed at remembering those that died in the April/May rallies in Bangkok. Chiang Mai is the birthplace of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, considered an iconic figurehead of the Red Shirts campaign by most supporters.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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