Explosions heard in Bangkok stand-off

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  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Explosions heard in Bangkok stand-off

    At least four explosions have been heard in the Thai capital Bangkok, where police are in a tense stand-off with anti-government protesters.
    Witnesses say at least six people have been wounded, including a foreigner.
    Earlier, a military spokesman warned protesters who have been camped out in Bangkok for six weeks that time for them to leave was running out.
    The government is under pressure to crack down on the red-shirt protesters, who say they want new elections.
    The cause of the explosions was not immediately known, although a police spokesman said at least the first three had been caused by grenades.
    One report citing hospital officials said at least 40 people had been injured, but this could not be confirmed.
    Witnesses said at least one blast occurred at an elevated train station in the heart of the capital's business district.
    Thai leaders have said they want a negotiated, peaceful end to the dispute, but observers say a non-violent solution is increasingly unlikely.
    The BBC's Rachel Harvey in Bangkok says protesters and police have been in entrenched positions, waiting to see what will happen next.
    The latest explosions could be the catalyst for a confrontation that both sides have been trying to avoid, she adds.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8637855.stm
     
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  3. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Grenade attacks hit Thai protests

    A series of explosions have rocked the business district of Bangkok, Thailand's capital, killing at least three people.

    Five blasts on Thursday in the Silom area also injured about 75 others, including foreigners, according to the authorities and hospital officials.

    Suthep Thaugsuban, the deputy prime minister, said that an M79 grenade launcher was used in the attacks, which came as the supporters of Abhisit Vejjajiva, the embattled prime minister, faced off with anti-government protesters known as "red shirts".

    "It was clear that it was shot from behind the King Rama VI Monument where the red shirts are rallying," he told reporters.

    Abhisit Vejjajiva, the prime minister, called an emergency meeting of security officials following the blasts.

    Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay, reporting from Bangkok, said: "We heard explosions right in a busy tourist and restaurant area.

    "Certainly the situation has the potential to get a lot worse."

    'Multi-colour' protesters

    Bloodshed clouds Thai new year
    So-called 'multi-colour' protesters have been holding a demonstration in the area recently, and are camped a few hundred metres from where the blasts took place in a heavily guarded area.

    They have been calling for anti-government red shirt demonstrators to end their protest against the government.

    The red shirts have been camped out on the streets of Bangkok since March 12, with the stand-off causing widespread disruption, closing shopping malls, hotels and causing millions of dollars in losses for Thailand's vital tourism industry.

    The red shirts consist mainly of poor rural workers and pro-democracy activists who opposed the military coup that ousted Thaksin Shinawatra, the then prime minister, in 2006.

    They want parliament dissolved immediately and new elections called, saying the current government is illegitimate.

    A report in The Nation newspaper on Thursday said red shirt leaders were insisting on an immediate dissolution of parliament and had rejected an appeal by a national economic council to wait until a budget bill was passed in July.

    Crackdown fears


    Thai officials say an M79 grenade launcher was used in the attacks [AFP]
    Aela Callan, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in the Silom area, said that such small M-79 grenades had been used on government buildings around Bangkok in recent months.

    She said that very quickly after the blasts the army had spoken on loud speakers in the area and blamed the red shirts for the attacks.

    "Many fear that it has set up the situation for a crackdown on the red shirts," she added.

    The red shirt leaders have condemned the attacks.

    Some leaders of the red shirts had previously suggested they might consider a three-month timeframe for Vejjajiva to dissolve parliament and call elections.

    The multi-colour protesters have said that they are not alligned to any side but are purely against the red shirts.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2010/04/2010422132155545330.html

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015

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