DTN News: Thailand TODAY April 23, 2010 ~ Thailand Blasts Blamed On 'Terrorists'
DTN News: Thailand TODAY April 23, 2010 ~ Thailand Blasts Blamed On 'Terrorists' Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) BANGKOK, Thailand - April 23, 2010: A Thai government spokesman is blaming "terrorists" for a series of explosions that killed one person and injured 86 in Bangkok on Thursday, but stopped short of blaming anti-government Red Shirt protesters. Red shirt protester stands guard at the anti- government camp as Thai riot police move closer early morning as the tense standoff continues on April 23, Bangkok,Thailand. A series of coordinated grenade attacks left 3 dead and several injured overnight. The Thai army has stated that decisive measures to get control of the streets might be used against the anti-government protestors besieging the business sector of the Thai capital for more than six weeks.
Panitan Wattanayagorn said the blasts were under investigation and it was too soon to come to any conclusions.
"This is the work of the terrorists that the government has always been wanting to get rid off," he said.
The late-night attacks involved five M-79 grenades shot from a location near where anti-government protesters have been encamped for weeks.
The first three blasts tore through an elevated train station on Silom Road, known as Thailand's Wall Street. Soldiers who were stationed in the area helped passengers flee the station after the explosions.
Two later blasts struck an intersection filled with bystanders and a group of demonstrators who oppose the Red Shirts.
Nearby elevated train and subway stations were closed Friday and the head of a key security agency, Tharit Pengdit, urged the public to avoid the area near the protests. He warned that anyone involved in "terrorism" will face the death penalty.
On Friday morning, traffic was light in the normally jammed four-lane thoroughfare, and even many small-time food vendors had left their patches of pavement.
The Red Shirts, who are drawn from rural areas, are demanding that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva resign and new elections be held. They have been rallying in Bangkok since March 12 and have staged a number of dramatic protests.
In mid-March, the protesters started collecting donated blood, which was later tossed at government buildings. The protesters have also swarmed the prime minister's home and stormed parliament, forcing several government officials to escape by helicopter.
The Thai army has issued warnings to the protesters that it will break up the street demonstrations. The demonstrators are in violation of several laws, including a state of emergency.
Travel warningThe Department of Foreign Affairs is warning Canadians to avoid "non-essential travel to central Bangkok's commercial business district" because of the ongoing protests and the "significant risk of violent clashes and further unrest" in the area.