Blast hits opposition protest march in Thai capital

Agence France-Presse
An official from Erawan emergency center said there 22 injured, though he had no information on the severity of the injuries

PROTESTS. Thai anti-government protesters walk through Silom intersection during ongoing rallies in Bangkok on January 14, 2014. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP Photo

BANGKOK, Thailand (2ND UPDATE) –  A bomb blast at an opposition protest march in Bangkok wounded at least 28 people, emergency officials said Friday, in the latest unrest during a “shutdown” of the capital aimed at ousting the government.

“The latest figure we have is 28 injured,” said an official from the city’s Erawan emergency centre, in an updated figure.

She said there were no details of how serious the injuries sustained were.

Police were investigating what type of explosive device caused the blast.

Television footage showed several people lying on the ground as ambulances rushed away the wounded.

Protesters were seen searching nearby buildings for the attackers as police and soldiers arrived on the scene.

“The bomb went off shortly after 1 pm (0600 GMT, 2:00 pm Philippine time),” deputy national police spokesman Anucha Romyanan said.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has faced more than two months of street demonstrations aimed at forcing her elected government from office and installing an appointed body to oversee loosely defined reforms such as an end to alleged vote buying.

Eight people have been killed and hundreds injured in street violence since the protests began.

There have been a series of drive-by shootings at rally sites that the demonstrators have blamed on the authorities. (READ: Two wounded as shots fired on Bangkok protest)

“Yingluck must take responsibility,” one of the protest leaders, Satit Wonghnongtaey, said on stage soon after the blast.

The protesters aim to curb the political dominance of Yingluck’s billionaire brother, fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, whom they accuse of controlling the government from self-exile. – Rappler.com

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