Thailand: Rival Protests Turn Violent

Updated On: Jul 28, 2008

Rival protests by groups for and against former premier Thaksin and the present Samak government continue in Bangkok and other centres of Thailand. But while previous protests have been peaceful, there are increasing signs of conflict.

On Thurs 24 July, a supporter of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) against Thaksin was killed and 17 others injured in Udon Thani, in the north. A 700 strong mob armed with knives and clubs attacked some 150 PAD supporters.

The anti-PAD group, calling themselves themselves Khon Rak Udon (We Love Udon), was led by a brother of an appointee in the Samak cabinet, Agriculture Deputy Minister Theerachai Saenkaew.

The clash took place despite extra security measures deployed by the combined 450 forces of provincial police and border patrol police volunteers.

Another skirmish was reported a day earlier between PAD supporters and opponents in Maha Sarakham's Muang district that left dozens injured, including former senator for Buri Ram Karun Saingam.

The PAD demanded the government and the Interior Ministry accept responsibility for failing to stop the violence. PAD rallies are swell in Bangkok where it has to date been without similar violence.

Source: The Bangkok Post, 25 July 08, PAD guard killed as 700 opponents storm rally, http://www.bangkokpost.com/250708_News/25Jul2008_news04.php

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