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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 28 March, 2020

Fears of further political violence mount after two die in Bangkok grenade attack

It comes a day after dozens were injured in an attack at an anti-government rally.

A soldier photographs the scene of an explosion littered with blood and small pairs of shoes at a main protest site in Bangkok.
A soldier photographs the scene of an explosion littered with blood and small pairs of shoes at a main protest site in Bangkok.
Image: AP Photo/Wally Santana

TWO PEOPLE HAVE been killed, one a child, in a grenade attack in a main Bangkok shopping district, drawing the Thai prime minister’s denunciation of “terrorist acts” as fears over violence mount after a near four-month political crisis.

The afternoon attack came a day after a young girl died and dozens were hurt in a drive by shooting at a protest rally in eastern Thailand.

The explosion occurred during an anti-government rally in an area popular with tourists for its street stalls, hotels and proximity to one of the biggest shopping malls in Thailand’s capital.

12-year-old boy

“A 40-year-old woman and a 12-year-old boy died and 22 people were injured,” the Erawan emergency centre said in an update on its website. Two children are among the injured.

A damaged tuk-tuk was left abandoned on the blood-splattered road as soldiers and police sealed off the area, an AFP photographer saw.

Police said shrapnel fragments indicated the blast was caused by a grenade fired from a M79 launcher.

“Terrorist acts”

In posting on her official Facebook page Premier Yingluck Shinawatra denounced the incidents as “terrorist acts for political gain(s)” stating the childrens’ deaths “were particularly saddening and disturbing”.

Thailand has seen months of anti-government rallies aimed at ousting Yingluck’s embattled administration.

The protests have been met with sporadic gun and grenade attacks — mainly in Bangkok — by unknown attackers.

Sprayed bullets

On Saturday a five-year-old girl died and 30 were injured — including another girl — when gunmen sprayed bullets at a anti-government rally in the Khao Saming district of Trat province, 300 kilometres (185 miles) east of the capital.

The kingdom has been bitterly split since a military coup ousted Yingluck’s brother Thaksin Shinawatra as prime minister in 2006.

The current unrest is the worst since Thaksin-allied Red Shirt protests against a Democrat-led government in 2010 sparked clashes and a bloody military crackdown that left more than 90 people dead.

In recent months 19 people have died and hundreds more have been injured, fuelling fears of a spiral of unrest.

© – AFP 2014

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