ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Protest leader Suthep marching again today despite fresh bombing
BANGKOK, Jan 18 – Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban declared that he was undeterred by yesteday’s explosions which killed one and injured scores of people and will march on Bangkok streets again today to urge people to join the fight against the government.
Mr Suthep, secretary general of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), could not hold back his tears as he announced the names of protesters injured in the explosions near Ban Tad Thong intersection.
He led protesters from the Pathum Wan rally site on the fifth day of marching in the capital yesterday, as bombs were hurled from a deserted building, injuring more than 30 people.
He said a protester from Nakhon Si Thammarat, identified as Prakong Choochan, 46, was hit in the chest by shrapnel and rushed to Ramathibodi Hospital.
“His main artery was severed but doctors stitched it and pumped his heart to restart it. He is still in coma,” said Mr Suthep last night, adding that the PDRC will take responsibility for medical expenses for all injured protesters.
The Erawan Emergency Medical Service Centre later announced that he had died from his injuries.
Mr Suthep said the people have been fighting unarmed and that the protests over almost three months have been peaceful and non-violent despite repeated intimidations.
“We have been harassed and attacked 27 times. The residence of the Bangkok governor was bombed Thursday night,” he said.
He added, “I cannot guarantee if I will survive. If they get rid of me, please do not surrender but fight on. Do not let our brothers and sisters shed blood and lose their lives for nothing. We have to pursue our determination to totally wipe out the Thaksin regime.”
Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the government was against violence and has instructed police to hunt for culprits in the bombing at Ban Tad Thong intersection.
She said the government has provided protection to all groups of people equally.
Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said he did not understand why Mr Suthep switched his marching route to the road where the deserted building was located.
Bombs were hurled at protesters from the building.
National Police Chief Adul Saengsingkaew urged protesters to allow police to inspect the explosion scene and promised to fully investigate the case.
He expressed concern that similar violence could occur again and stood firm that police were not involved in the explosions and war weapons found at the scene. (MCOT online news)
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