(17 January) Anti-government demonstrators have come under a deadly grenade attack during their march near financial centre of Bangkok today.
The incident took place at around 13.00 when supporters of People′s Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State (PCAD) were marching along Banthadthong Road as a part of their "Bangkok Shutdown" campaign.
The crowd was led by PCAD secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban.
As the marchers approached Charoenpol Intersection, an unidentified individual hurled down a bomb, largely speculated to be a grenade, from one of the vacant buildings that lined the road into the crowd below. The subsequent explosion reportedly injured numerous people.
Immediately after the explosion the protesters guards stormed into the derelict buildings and sought out the assailant, while the injured were transported to hospitals. A number of military medics wearing Red Cross armband later arrived to assist the protesters.
Mr. Suthep was heading the march at some distance away from the scene when the attack took place.
It is not immediately clear what type of explosive was involved in the attack.
One anti-government protester injured by the grenade blast later died at hospital, and official reports say a total of 36 people have been wounded in the incident.
The attack is seen as a major escalation of violence, as it took place at a short distance from the National Stadium and Pathumwan Intersection, the financial district of Bangkok where PCAD supporters had been occupying since late Sunday.
Although PCAD rally sites have come under sporadic attacks – mostly consisting of gunfire and homemade explosive devices – almost nightly since their "Shutdown" campaign began, the attack earlier today marked the first daylight violent incident against the protesters.
Earlier today, another group of PCAD demonstrators also claimed that they were attacked by stones launched from slingshots during their march on Nares Road in Bang Rak district.
The protesters said the assailants were positioned on an abandoned building next to Bang Rak Police Station.
No suspect has been arrested so far.
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