Grenade attack kills Red Shirt protester

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A grenade attack near a massive encampment of anti-government protesters in Bangkok killed one person and wounded dozens today.

The area has been the site of a tense stand-off between Red Shirt protesters, who are demanding Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva resign, and armed troops.

More recently, a rival group of protesters has rallied in the area, occasionally hurling stones and insults at the Red Shirts, creating a volatile mix. Several of the blasts were near where the rivals have gathered, under the elevated tracks of a station.

An army spokesman said five grenades were fired from launchers. Three fell through the roof of the Saladaeng Skytrain station, along Silom Road, the centre of Bangkok's business district.

A fourth exploded on the pavement near the five-star Dusit Thani Hotel and the fifth near a bank.

The government's Erawan emergency centre said the blasts killed one person, a Thai man, and wounded at least 50.

Some reports said three foreigners were among the wounded.

The Red Shirts, who believe Abhisit came to power illegitimately and are pushing for him to call elections immediately, have rallied in the streets for several weeks.

Today the army warned that time was running out for the protesters to clear the streets, warning they would crack down soon.