At least 28 people were injured when two explosions hit an anti-government rally site here today, the latest in a series of violence against defiant protesters as they intensified their campaign to oust beleaguered premier Yingluck Shinawatra.
Explosions and gunshots took place near Victory Monument, a major intersection in central Bangkok, that protesters have been occupying since Monday as part of their ongoing campaign to shutdown the capital.
“There were two explosions and gunshots at Victory Monument,” Erawan Emergency Centre said in a statement.
“Initially 28 were injured, we are chasing more details.” One journalist was among the injured.
The injured were rushed to several city hospitals. The condition of the seven injured is said be critical.
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Thaworn Senneam, a key leader of the Peoples Democratic Reforms Committee (PDRC), said an unidentified man threw an explosive device behind the rally stage and ran off.
He was chased by security guards and protesters, prompting him to toss another bomb and firing a shot at them.
The attacker was believed to be one of the six assailants present at the scene, said Thaworn, a former opposition Democrat Party MP.
It was the latest in a series of attacks by unidentified assailants on anti-government protesters as they continued their months-long agitation, seeking to oust Yingluck and install an unelected “People’s Council” to carry out reforms before the February 2 snap polls.
On Friday, one person was killed and 38 others were injured when a grenade went off as marchers were passing a street near an intersection. The 46-year-old man became the ninth person killed during the protests.
The attacks, which came just two weeks before the snap polls, escalated the soaring political crisis that has wracked the country for over two months now.
Protesters, who have vowed to rid Thailand of the political dominance of the Shinawatra clan, allege that the Yingluck regime is controlled by her fugitive brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a coup in 2006.
Thaksin lives in a self-imposed exile to escape a prison term on a corruption conviction.
National Security Council secretary-general Paradorn Pattanatabut warned that protests may become more violent as the PDRC plans to shutdown all government offices in the South next week.