PEFOT Bomb Attack 'Designed To Kill', Witness Claims

(11 October) Thai police have promised a timely investigation into the explosive attack on the anti-government protest in central Bangkok last night, in which a protester had been injured and several cars damaged.

The protesters broke off from a larger rally organised by People′s Force of Democracy to Overthrow Thaksinism (PEFOT) at Government House, after its leaders decided to end the protests temporarily yesterday in order to clear the governmental area for the visit of Chinese premier Li Keqiang.

Refusing to halt their protests against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the dissenting protesters decided to stage a rally of their own on the road near Uruphong intersection, vowing to carry the fight until Ms. Yingluck resigns.

The protesters were later shaken out of their sleep in the dead of the night when a loud explosion occurred. Several cars were damaged by the explosion and Mr. Pattrawut Chirawibulwan, a volunteer guard of the protesters, was injured. Scores of leaflets were also thrown onto the protest site, which rudely advise the protesters to leave the intersection because they were causing traffic jam.

Investigating the scene shortly afterwards, the police ruled the bomb to be a homemade explosive device composed of energy drink bottle filled with incendiary substances and metals. The officers assume that the bomb was thrown down from one of the tollway roads above Uruphong intersection.

Mr. Pattrawut, the injured man, said he was asleep in his tent when the bomb exploded, and he was wounded by shards of glasses in his left foot. He said he had not seen the attackers as he was sleeping when the incident occurred.

Another guard, Mr. Suttinan Prayong, told the police he was about to sleep when he heard three explosions and leaflets being thrown from the overflying tollway. He was certain the explosive was thrown from the same position on the tollway.

"I don?t know who did it," Mr. Suttinan said, "But it was surely designed to kill, because of all the burning and the shrapnel"

Speaking after a meeting with top police officers at Bangkok Metropolitan Police headquarters, Pol.Maj.Gen. Kamronwit Thoopkrachang said the police force had set up security checkpoints in the roads leading to the protest site but not on the tollways. He told the press he would station additional officers in the area.

Pol.Maj.Gen. Kamronwit said the protesters have the rights to assembly "but they should stay within the legal boundary and refrain from causing troubles to other people" such as blocking the traffic. He insisted that the police are working hard to identify the suspects and solve the case.

He added that the police have attempted to persuade the protesters to move to an empty plot near Rama VI Road which is "safer" and away from traffic, but the protesters have refused to negotiate.

Nevertheless, Pol.Maj.Gen. Kamronwit urged the protesters to inform the police if they encounter any suspicious object around the protest site. "We have EOD units that are on stand by and ready to investigate the area at any time," he said.

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