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Blasts in Thai Capital Injure Anti-Government Protesters

  • VOA News

Small explosions in the Thai capital have wounded several anti-government protesters who have occupied the country's main international airport and a domestic airport. Authorities in Bangkok say unknown assailants threw grenades at anti-government protesters at a domestic airport that protesters occupied early Tuesday.

At least two people were wounded. A small blast injured at least two protesters at the new international airport early Wednesday. Other sources reported attacks elsewhere in the city, resulting in an unknown number of injuries. Hundreds of protesters stormed inside Thailand's new Suvarnabhumi international airport's passenger terminal late Tuesday.

Thousands of protesters are camped outside the airport, a gateway for millions of passengers to and from the country. The protest prompted authorities to suspend outgoing flights, leaving about three thousand passengers stranded.REST OPT Members of the People's Alliance for Democracy say their goal is to shut the airport down until Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat resigns.

Protesters appear to be waiting for Mr. Somchai, who is scheduled to arrive at the airport from an international summit in South America (Asian Pacific Economic Conference). He is expected to arrive Wednesday evening local time. The airport siege followed a violent clash earlier Tuesday, during which anti-government protesters chased down government supporters on a major highway in the capital, Bangkok.

At least 11 people were wounded during the street fight, some with gunshot wounds. Protests have become increasingly violent over the past few days as anti-government supporters make what they say is a "final push" to remove Mr. Somchai from office.

The latest wave of protests began intensifying on Monday when opposition supporters forced parliament to delay a session by blocking access to the building. Protesters accuse Mr. Somchai of being a proxy for Thaksin Shinawatra, his brother-in-law, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006 for alleged corruption.

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