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Blood on the Streets as Bomb Kills Two, Wounds 22 in Thai Capital

Thai police officers inspect the site of an explosion during an anti-government protest at Khao Saming district

Bangkok – A bomb killed two people and wounded at least 22 in a busy shopping district in the Thai capital on Sunday, hours after supporters of Thai Prime Minister YingluckShinawatra promised to get tough with demonstrators paralyzing parts of the city. But it was not immediately clear who was responsible.

The bomb went off near one of the few large protest sites remaining, leaving a trail of blood and sandals on the streets near the huge Central World shopping mall, much of it in front of a shop selling tee-shirts emblazoned “Land of Smile”. Three children suffered serious head injuries, Erawan Medical Center, which monitors Bangkok hospitals, said. One died.

“One boy who we understand was 12 years old has died from injuries sustained in the blast. Another child is undergoing an operation and a third child is still in the emergency room with us,” an emergency room nurse at Ramathibodi Hospital in central Bangkok, who declined to be identified, told Reuters. Erawan said a 40-year-old woman was also killed.

The crisis pits mostly middle-class anti-government protesters from Bangkok and the south against supporters of Yingluck from the rural north and northeast of the country. Both sides have blamed the other for instigating violence. Armed provocateurs have a history of trying to stir tension in politically polarized Thailand and both protesters and the police have also blamed violence on shadowy third parties.

Leaders of the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) had vowed to “deal with” anti-government leader SuthepThaugsuban, setting the scene for possible confrontation between pro- and anti-government groups.

“This fight will be harder than any other … You must think how we can deal with Suthep and those supporting him,” JatupornPrompan, a UDD leader and senior member of the ruling Puea Thai Party, told thousands of cheering supporters in NakhonRatchasima, northeast of the capital. (Reuters)

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