Pro-democracy activists clashed with police in Bangkok last night in response to the authorities’ use of teargas, rubber bullets, and water cannon. Thai PBS World reports that the clashes took place at the Din Daeng intersection in the capital, following a rally organised by protest group, the United Front for Thammasat and Demonstration.
It’s understood a number of activists refused to leave when protest leaders called an end to the rally around 5.20pm. Requests for protesters to go home were ignored by some, who proceeded to launch various missiles at advancing police officers. According to the Thai PBS World report, the confrontation escalated into a series of street battles, resulting in a police kiosk being set on fire before officers extinguished the blaze.
Krisana Pattanacharoen from the Royal Thai Police says there were 2 groups of activists and while 1 group was only interested in protesting against the government, the other group seemed intent on provoking unrest. According to Krisana, additional police officers were dispatched to the scene to prevent things escalating. He adds that, despite being provoked by protesters, the police adhered to the international rules of engagement in their attempts to restore order.
According to the Erawan Emergency Medical Service Centre, at least 6 police officers have been injured, with some hurt by shots and explosives. It’s also reported that protesters set fire to another police kiosk near the Democracy Monument at around 7.30pm, with things winding down around 9.15pm and both sides dispersing.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World
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