Bangkok explosion | Bangkok grenade attacks heighten tension

Red Shirt protest

In Bangkok, red shirt protests and clashes with military have been increasing. Image from Flickr.

Thursday evening, the capital of Thailand was rocked with several grenades; the Bangkok explosion is serving only to worsen tensions between anti-government red shirt protesters, government troops and pro-government “no color” protesters. The Bangkok explosion started when at least five M-79 grenades were shot into the business district of the heavily populated city. The government of Thailand is seeking cash advance loans to help quell the protesters, while anti-government groups are building makeshift forts in large areas of the city.

Bangkok explosion origin unknown

The origin of the Bangkok explosion is currently under heated debate. Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Suthep Thaugsuban, told reporters that the Bangkok grenade attacks originated with an M-79 grenade launcher, which has a 400-meter shooting range. He claims “it was clear that it was shot from behind the King Rama VI Monument where the Red Shirts are rallying.” However, Sean Boonpracong, a Red Shirt spokesman and Jatuporn Prompan, a Red Shirt protest leader, deny that the Red Shirts had anything to do with the Bangkok explosion.

Casualty reports of the Bangkok explosion

Reports of injuries and deaths from the Bangkok explosion are still coming in. The grenades were shot into many heavily populated areas, including train stations. The Bangkok explosions also ripped through a “no-color” pro-government rally. Current reports are that three are dead and at least 75 are wounded.

Bangkok explosions at a time of high tension

For the last six weeks, mostly poor and rural Red Shirt protesters have been marching on the Thai government, demanding immediate governmental elections. Less than two weeks ago, the government used payday loans from its own treasury to send in troops to disperse Red Shirt protesters in Bangkok, but the ensuing clashes led to 25 dead and hundreds injured.

Many Red Shirt protesters are starting to take over sections of Bangkok, reinforcing them with sharpened bamboo sticks. The government has warned the protesters that they will face “live weapons and tear gas” if they do not disperse. For the most part, Red Shirt protesters are claiming that the current government, the result of a 2006 coup, is illegitimate.


New York Times
National Post
Wall Street Journal
Sydney Morning Herald

Other recent posts by bryanh