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Anti-government protesters arrested after police officer injured at weekend rally

Maya Taylor

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An anti-government protest in Bangkok. PHOTO: Facebook/ไทยไม่ทน สามัคคีประชาชน เพื่อประเทศไทย - United People for Thailand UPT

Following Sunday’s anti-government protest in Bangkok, 2 activists have been arrested after video footage allegedly showed them injuring a police officer. The Bangkok Post reports that the pair are among a total of 27 protesters arrested, according to Pakapong Pongpetra from the Metropolitan Police Bureau. He says 13 of the detainees are minors and 2 are women. Sunday’s rally began at the Din Daeng intersection in the capital at 2pm, finishing at around 9pm.

Piya Tawichai from the MPB says officers have also confiscated a number of weapons and missiles, including more than 100 ping-pong bombs, 30 home-made bombs, 56 large firecrackers, and 44 smoke bombs. Police also seized 50 glass balls and several knives. Officers found several drinks bottles that had been fashioned into Molotov cocktails and Piya says several protesters have been charged with arson.

“So far the police are investigating 169 criminal cases linked to the past street protests involving 644 suspects. Of the 644 suspects, 374 have already been detained while another 160 people are being summoned to come meet with police investigators.”

The Bangkok Post reports that Sunday’s rally was organised by 3 protest groups, including Thai Mai Thon (Thais Won’t Stand It Anymore) and Achiwa Phithak Prachachon (Vocational Students Protecting the People). They were supported by activists who regularly gather at the Din Daeng intersection.

Pakapong says the officer who was allegedly injured by 2 protesters was rescued by paramedics. He adds that the authorities are investigating other video footage that appears to show protesters carrying guns.

More anti-government protests took place in the capital yesterday, with another rally at the Din Daeng intersection and a protest outside Royal Thai Police headquarters. Piya says yesterday’s action was led by the June 24 Democracy group and Thalu Gas (Tear gas survivors) group.

Piya says the police have stopped using tear gas as a means of crowd control and are instead using water cannon containing blue dye, which later helps identify those who attended protests.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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