Friday, 31 October 2008

PAD declares it's under attack

Bangkok Post
Friday October 31, 2008

Bombs, shootings leave two dead in Bangkok


Tensions between anti- and pro-government camps are on knife edge with more violence predicted following the bombing and shooting of supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

The PAD declared yesterday it was now under attack.

A bomb thrown at the Makkhawan Rangsan bridge protest area killed a PAD security guard, Sathian Tabmalipol, and wounded five others early yesterday.

A bomb also exploded at the home of Jarun Pukditanakul, a judge of the Constitution Court.

A man identified as Sangwian Rujimora, 46, was also found dead under a tree on a footpath near Misakawan intersection, behind the Metropolitan Police Bureau and close to the rally site, shot through the right eye.

Pol Maj-Gen Anant Srihiran, chief of Metropolitan Police Division 1, said the man had earlier walked past a line of police. He had appeared drunk.

PAD coordinator Suriyasai Katasila said the alliance was now under attack. He said police and the government were not remaining neutral and accused them of negligence of duty in failing to prevent violence.

Mr Suriyasai believed further attempts would be made to provoke violence in the lead-up to tomorrow's pro-government meeting at Rajamangala Stadium, where Thaksin Shinawatra will address his supporters by phone from London during the Kwam Jing Wan Nee (The Truth Today) political talk show.

Air force chief ACM Itthiporn Suppawong agreed more violence is likely. He called on police and the government to enforce the law strictly and ensure the safety of the people.

Army specialist Maj-Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol denied involvement in the incidents, saying the PAD came under attack because many groups were increasingly dissatisfied with its actions.

Government spokesman Nattawut Saikua said the government was not involved.

He said Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat had instructed national police chief Pol Gen Patcharawat Wongsuwan and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Suchart Muankaew to speed up the investigations.

Witnesses said two men wearing black jackets rode a motorcycle up to the Makkhawan Rangsan bridge about 3am and the pillion rider hurled the bomb at a group of PAD guards, killing one of them.

About 4am, a group of men in black turned up near Misakawan intersection and opened fire on PAD supporters and security guards. Nobody was hurt.

Earlier, PAD guards detained a man carrying a petrol-soaked rag about 2am. Kittichai Saisa-ard, head of security team, said the man admitted he was paid 200 baht by a police officer to disrupt the PAD.

Earlier, around midnight, the bomb exploded in the garden of the home of judge Jarun, in Khlong Tan area, damaged an air compressor and smashed a glass window and a plate glass door. Nobody was hurt.

Pol Col Siwaroj Sukkhawanont, Khlong Tan police chief, said the bomb was a low-pressure type. It did not produce any dangerous shrapnel and was probably only meant to intimidate.

In Chiang Mai, a PAD supporter's car was destroyed by fire in a garage near a local radio station in Muang district about 4am yesterday. The car belonged to Therdsak Jiamkitwattana, who hosts a radio show which relays the ASTV broadcasts of the PAD rallies.

Police said the fire seemed to have been caused by an incendiary device.

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