Bangkok police threaten to use full riot-control equipment at future rallies

PHOTO: AP / www.learningenglish.voanews.com

Following confirmation that several officers were injured at a pro-democracy rally in Bangkok on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police Bureau says it may resort to using full riot-control equipment in future. This would imply a return to the water cannon and tear gas deployed by police late last year.

Pakapong Pongpetra from the MPB says 7 police officers were injured by protesters firing objects in their direction at a rally at the Pathumwan Intersection in the capital on Wednesday. Protesters were calling for the release of 4 pro-democracy activists, who’d had their bail requests turned down. Pakapong says that, in addition to his officers being injured, 8 police cars and a police motorbike were damaged.

According to a Nation Thailand report, he has denied that officers deployed the tear gas which hit protesters, as well as nearby reporters and passersby, saying the police would always issue a warning prior to using tear gas. He says an investigation is underway to determine the source of the teargas, as well as the origin of smoke bombs found at the site. He admits these do match the ones used by police but says they may have been stolen from officers during previous operations.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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