Tue, Feb 11, 2014 - Page 6 News List

Bangkok protest site explosion injures six cleaners


Six street cleaners have been wounded by a small explosion at an anti-government protest site in Thailand’s capital yesterday, police said.

The explosion was caused by an improvised bomb or a giant firecracker that went off before noon yesterday when the cleaners from the city hall were changing tree pots on a street island near the rally site in central Bangkok, Police Major Nopparuj Jitman told reporters.

Two of the workers were seriously injured and hospitalized, Erawan emergency medical services said.

The demonstrators have occupied major intersections in Bangkok and blocked off several government ministries, forcing employees to work elsewhere.

They want Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down to make way for an interim appointed government to implement what they say are necessary reforms to fight corruption. They have been protesting since November last year and have battled Thai police on several occasions.

Yingluck has refused to step down, arguing she was elected by a large majority and is open to reform, and that such a council would be unconstitutional and undemocratic.

Protest faction leader Saemdin Lertbutr said none of the protesters were injured in the incident.

“The opponents must have only wanted to create a situation or scare us because the intensity of the blast was neither very serious nor life-threatening,” Saemdin said.

At least 10 people have been killed and scores hospitalized during the unrest.

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