Violence has erupted on the streets of Bangkok for the second day in a row as anti-government protesters clashed with police. Thai PBS World reports that protesters hurled bricks, firecrackers, and slingshots at officers at the Victory Monument and the Din Daeng intersection.
Yesterday’s rally was organised by the Talu Fah group, which is closely allied to the Ratsadon pro-democracy group and other activist groups. It’s understood the rally started off peacefully at the Victory Monument. Later in the afternoon, protesters began to block traffic around the area and set fire to effigies of political figures.
After issuing a warning to protesters that they were breaking the law, the police began to move in to disperse some and arrest others. At that point, some activists began to move to the Din Daeng intersection, but others remained at the Victory Monument. While protest leaders urged everyone to disperse, calling an end to the rally, the more hardcore members ignored them. Violence then erupted as police prevented them from reaching the residence of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.
Officers used rubber bullets and teargas against the protesters, who fired slingshots, bricks, and firecrackers in response. Thai PBS World reports that some also used lasers, inspired by fellow pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. It’s understood a protester was seriously injured while attempting to throw a firecracker at police, with some media reports saying he lost his hand. The Erawan Medical Centre has confirmed that 8 police officers were wounded and are receiving hospital treatment. According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, at least 13 protesters have been arrested, 1 of whom is a minor.
The Talu Fah group has posted an apology on Facebook, saying the violence came from younger members of the group, but also pointing the finger at police for starting it by using rubber bullets and teargas.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World
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