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Shot fired into Chaeng Wattana Hospital

Violence has continued in protest areas in Bangkok, with a privately run hospital the latest target in a shooting attack.

The attack on Mongkut Wattana General Hospital on Friday night drew condemnation from the hospital's director, the ruling Pheu Thai Party and medical personnel from the Public Health Ministry.

Unknown assailants shot at the hospital at about 8pm but no one was injured.

The hospital is located on Chaeng Wattana Road, just opposite an anti-government protest site led by Buddhist monk Phra Buddha Issara, who is a leader of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

Mongkut Wattana director Dr Rienthong Nanna, who is known to sympathise with the protesters, said hospitals had never been targets of attack - even during the world wars and other battles.

"The hospital has treated not only anti-government protesters but also their opponents without any discrimination," he said on his Facebook page.

"The hospital has employees who both support and oppose the protests yet are able to work harmoniously together."

Rienthong said, however, that he would not file a complaint with police because he did not have confidence and trust in the caretaker government.

He wants Army units deployed in the Chaeng Wattana area to guard the hospital.

The doctor, who holds the rank of an Army major-general, posted a photo of a hole in the hospital that he said was caused by a bullet.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai Party spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard said the ruling party condemned the attack. But he also criticised the hospital's director for saying that he had no confidence in the government.

Dr Prachumporn Booncharoen, representing a group of public health personnel called the Thai Health Network, said the attack was unacceptable.

She added that the Thai Health Network would hold a press conference to formally condemn the culprits.

There were also more attacks on the Chaeng Wattana protest site early yesterday, with shots fired into the area at about 2am.

Buddha Issara said two assailants travelling in a car fired shots into the site, injuring a man.

He said security guards managed to catch one of the assailants, who was assaulted by the guards.

The guards seized the vehicle the men were travelling in and claimed to have found a home-made bomb inside it.

Police are questioning the man caught by the guards.

The injured man was taken to Siriraj Hospital, the Erawan Medical Service Centre said.

Since the anti-government protest began in November, over 20 people have been killed and 729 injured in Bangkok, and 16 are still in hospital, it said.


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