Grenade blasts kill 3 in Bangkok

Grenades exploded Thursday night near political protests in the Thai capital, killing at least 1 and injuring 75. Authorities blamed "Red Shirt" anti-government protesters for the blasts, which set off scuffles with police. (April 22)
By Jason Szep and Martin Petty
Friday, April 23, 2010

BANGKOK -- A series of grenade blasts killed at least three people and wounded 75 in Bangkok's business district Thursday, heightening tensions during a showdown between troops and anti-government protesters.

Five explosions hit an area in Thailand's capital with many banks, office towers and hotels. Four people were seriously wounded, including two foreigners, according to hospital officials.

The M-79 grenades were fired with a shoulder-mounted launcher into an area where hundreds of pro-government demonstrators were gathering. The grenades were the same type that hit troops during a bloody clash with anti-government protesters that killed 25 people on April 10.

Troops, many armed with M-16 assault rifles, have poured into the area since Monday to contain the anti-government "red shirts," who have formed a barricade at an intersection leading into the bustling district also known for racy go-go bars.

The government said the grenades were fired from the red- shirt protest area. Leaders of the protesters, who have been demonstrating in Bangkok for nearly seven weeks seeking new elections, denied responsibility.

Television footage showed blood splattered across sidewalks, office windows smashed and a chaotic scene as panicked residents carried the injured into nearly a dozen ambulances.

-- Reuters

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