Thailand Protesters Hit by Explosion, Dozens Wounded
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Dozens of people were wounded in Thailand's capital Friday when an explosion hit anti-government demonstrators marching through Bangkok in some of the bloodiest violence reported this year.
The movement's leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, was in the procession but was not wounded in the blast, protest spokesman Akanat Promphan said.
Akanat said an explosive device was thrown into a truck driven by demonstrators that was several dozen metres ahead of Suthep. He said 20 people were injured, while the city's emergency services centre put the toll at 28.
Thailand has been wracked by repeated bouts of unrest since the military ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006 amid charges of corruption and alleged disrespect for the monarchy. The crisis boiled over again late last year after a failed ruling party bid to push through an amnesty bill that would have allowed Thaksin to return from exile.
Anti-government demonstrators who are seeking to oust Thaksin's sister, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, have taken over seven key roads and overpasses in Bangkok this week, blocking them off with sandbag walls and steel barricades.
The protests, which are also aimed at derailing Feb. 2 elections, have been peaceful. But small acts of violence have reported nightly at protest venues, which have been targeted in shooting attacks and with small explosives hurled at the homes of top protest supporters, AP reported.
Overnight, two motorcycle-riding suspects drove past the residence of Bangkok Gov. Sukhumbhand Paribatra and hurled a grenade inside, according to Police Col. Samarn Rodkamnerd. Sukhumbhand, who is member of the Democrat Party which is backing the protesters, was not home at the time and no injuries or serious damage was reported.
The attack was similar to another grenade attack on the home of Abhisit Vejjajiva, a former Democrat premier whose party lost to Yingluck's in a 2011 vote.