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Fears of grenade attacks at key sites

Authorities in Bangkok began bracing yesterday for possible grenade attacks in many areas of the city during a rally by the red shirts, a source said.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration executives met with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at Government House yesterday, where the PM informed them about intelligence pointing to violence in the capital.

According to the source, |the prime minister said intelligence showed that there would be bomb attacks in at least two locations and grenades would be thrown at 30-40 locations, particularly "important places".

Abhisit instructed the BMA executives to closely monitor the situation. He pointed out that some 2,000 "well-trained hardliners" would be among the protesters.

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police commissioner Lt Gen Santhan Chayanont yesterday called a meeting of senior city police to prepare for the rally later this week.

The city police chief told officers to secure the bureau's headquarters and all police |stations in Bangkok, as well |as keeping law and order at the six major protest sites around Bangkok, according to the Metropolitan Police spokesman, Maj Gen Piya Uthayo.

Police expected the rally to last three to seven days, with the tendency of "worse violence than before", the spokesman said.

In a related development, rumours of a severe riot were spread among university students yesterday.

An Assumption University student said they got messages via forwarded emails and mobile phone SMS telling them to stock up on food and to withdraw money from banks.

 "Many of the students told their parents and they are all afraid now," she added.

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