Grenade Attacks Target Monarchy-Linked Buildings

The garage of Constitutional Court judge Supol Kaimook, which was damaged in a grenade attack on 9 May, 2014.

BANGKOK — Several institutions with ties to the Thai Royal Family were the target of grenade attacks in Bangkok last night.

The first attack occurred at 9:40 p.m. at Chulabhorn Hospital in Laksi district. Police said unidentified assailants launched two M79 grenades at the hospital compound. One explosive landed in a garden just outside the main building, damaging a taxi parked nearby, and the other slammed into a doctor's office on the hospital's 9th floor.

Despite extensive damages caused by the blasts, no one was injured in the attacks, police said.

Slightly more than an hour later, two more grenades were launched at the headquarters of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) at Ratchayothin Intersection, damaging the outer wall of its 8th floor. No injuries have been reported.

Police said the grenades belonged to the same type of M79 grenade launcher used in the attack on Chulabhorn Hospital an hour earlier. 

It is not immediately clear who is responsible for the attacks, or why the two buildings were targeted; neither institution has an obvious political leaning,  unlike the state agencies and protesters' encampments that have received regular attacks from shadowy militants over the past several months of Thailand’s political turmoil.

However, both buildings do bear links to the Thai Royal Family. The hospital was named after Princess Chulabhorn, the youngest daughter of His Majesty the King, and its compound also houses the Chulabhorn Research Institute, which was founded by the 56-year-old princess. Siam Commerical Bank is partly owned by the Crown Property Bureau.

The twin attacks occurred just hours after the Constitutional Court ordered ex-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and nine of her Cabinet members to step down from their caretaker positions for unlawfully removing a National Security Council cheif in 2011.

Incidentally, a third grenade was launched at the official residence of Constitutional Court judge Supol Kaimook in Huay Kwang district last night as well. 

The blast damaged a garage and vehicle in the residence, but no injuries have been reported, police said. The grenade used in the attack was identified as an M67. Media reports indicate that Mr. Supol was not home at the time of the explosion. 

Police suspect that the attack was politically motivated. 

 

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