Grenade attack on Thai protesters kills one, injures at least 20

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

A grenade attack on People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters occupying Thailand's Government House compound has killed a 48-year-old man. Media reports indicate that the blast injured between 20 and 29 others. This is the third attack on protesters occupying the Prime Minister's offices since August.

The grenade attack took place in the early hours of this morning, 03:30 local time (20:30 UTC). PAD security details have prevented police from examining the crime scene. Local police commander, Somchai Chueyklin, told AFP they were waiting for forensic officials and permission from the protesters to enter the Government House compound.

PAD demonstrators at Democracy Monument on August 2, 2008.
Image: Mark Micallef.

One of the key leaders of the PAD, Sondhi Limthongkul, has accused the government of being behind the attack. Following meetings in the wake of the explosion, the anti-government protesters have announced plans for a protest and march this Sunday aimed at toppling the government and preventing amendment of the country's constitution. The PAD view the government of the People's Power Party as a continuation of the "Thaksin regime" that was deposed by a bloodless military coup on September 19, 2006. Plans by the government of PM Somchai Wongsawat to amend the constitution are seen as part of an effort to rehabilitate the fugitive ex-premier, Thaksin Shinawatra.

The blast comes just one day after a six-day 'cease-fire' came to an end following ceremonies for the cremation of the King's sister, Galyani Vadhana, who died of cancer earlier this year. Last Friday's lavish ceremony was one of King Bhumibol Adulyadej's few public appearances this year. At 80 years of age, the revered monarch is the world's longest serving head of state.

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