Man's body found as protest-related attacks continue

national January 29, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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VIOLENCE LINKED TO the anti-government rally in Bangkok continued yesterday with the body of a man in a protest T-shirt found near Wat Samian Naree in Chatuchak.

A grenade was also lobbed at the home of a People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) member and a giant firecracker was hurled at the Students and People Network for Thailand’s Reform (STR) rally site.

The grenade attack on the home of PDRC member Samran Rodphet in Khan Na Yow district took place at 3am yesterday, but nobody was injured. The blast shattered windows, a gate lamp and damaged a car parked in the compound. Police found the grenade pin and fragments at the scene. Pol Colonel Kamthorn Uicharoen, chief of a bomb disposal unit, said it was an M67 grenade, which is lethal with a radius of 15 metres.

Pol Colonel Phaisarn Wongwat-charamongkol, superintendent of Khan Na Yow Police Station, said Samran’s wife, Wandee Rodphet and her maid were woken up by the blast, but they did not dare look for the source of the sound as it was still dark. Samran’s wife told police her husband had not been home for more than a month as he had been taking part in the PDRC rallies. Phaisarn said police would check CCTV feeds in the area for more evidence.

Meanwhile, National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) spokesman Wicha Mahakhun, confirmed yesterday that an attacker sneaked into the NACC office compound and hurled a giant firecracker at the STR rally site near Government House at 11pm on Monday. One person was slightly injured. Wicha said somebody then fired 100 rounds of ammunition in the air to intimidate SRT guards so the attacker could flee.

The spokesman said STR guards later sought permission to search the NACC compound and found a shirt thought to belong to the attacker by a wall near Wat Benjamabophit. He said the NACC had instructed officials to install more lights in the area to prevent more attacks.

Later, it was reported that STR guards and Army officials discovered some urea fertiliser, teargas, batteries and candle wax, believed to be ingredients for making bombs at a tent within the rally site.

Meanwhile, the body of a man wearing a PDRC T-shirt and a wristband in the colours of the Thai flag was found on Kamphaeng Phet Road near Wat Samian Naree at 6am yesterday. He had been beaten severely and his hands and ankles showed traces of him being tied up. There were four gunshot wounds to his chest.

Officers from the Prachacheun Police Station said the unnamed man was possibly in his mid-30s or 40s and had died about five hours before his body was found.

PDRC leader Issara Somchai, who is leading the rally at Lat Phrao intersection, said he had not heard of any protester missing from the site and would let the police investigate the case first.

Separately, Siam Centre employee Siam Thanachatranon filed a complaint at Pathumwan Police Station on Monday, saying he had been assaulted in the Hua Chang Bridge area earlier that morning by four or five men at a protest guard’s checkpoint and that they had also taken the Bt15,000 cash he was carrying, his sunglasses and his iPhone.

At about the same time, Pol Senior Sgt-Major Boonchob Semathong also filed a complaint saying that he was assaulted by a protest guard who also seized his gun and ammunition while he was travelling to work.



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