Police Say Bomb Attack Close to Protest Site Injured 4

Forensic police search for evidence at the site of a bomb attack close to Samyan Intersection in Bangkok on Jan. 16, 2021.

BANGKOK — Police on Sunday they are looking for the perpetrators behind a bomb attack that injured four people close to where pro-democracy demonstrators were gathering on Saturday evening.

The blast took place at Samyan Intersection at about 6pm, wounding two policemen, a reporter for The Standard online news site, and another civilian, Bangkok police chief Lt. Gen. Phukphong Phongpetra said in a report published on Sunday.

Phukpong said the device used in the attack appears to be a pingpong bomb filled with nails, though police have yet to identify any suspects.

“We are investigating and searching for the perpetrator to bring them to prosecution,” police spokesman Kissana Phattanacharoen said on Saturday night.


A similar incident was reported on Nov. 2, when an assailant threw a firecracker at pro-democracy protesters from MRT Tha Phra Station, without wounding anyone. The attacker remains at large and unidentified.

Scores of demonstrators were gathering in front of Samyan Mitrtown shopping mall on Saturday afternoon to protest the sweeping enforcement of royal defamation law, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.

Earlier on Saturday, police dispersed a group of activists who were campaigning against the law, also known as lese majeste, at Victory Monument.

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Riot police are deployed to Samyan Mitrtown shopping mall on Jan. 16, 2021, to crack down on a protest opposing the royal defamation law.

At least 43 people have been charged with lese majeste since November, most of them activists who organized street protests in 2020 that called for monarchy reforms.


Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri on Sunday urged members of the public to refrain from joining any political gatherings and protests at this time, citing the threats of coronavirus.

“The government does not wish to see a rise in infections caused by political rallies,” Anucha said. “Therefore, we’d like to ask for cooperation from the public to comply with measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The authorities are already banning any unauthorized assemblies under the Emergency Decree, which was enacted in March in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Violators face up to 2 years in prison.