Two injured by giant firecracker

national February 15, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Two people were injured during a bid by state officials to take back rally sites from anti-government protesters in Bangkok yesterday, the city's Erawan Emergency Centre reported.

The man, Watcharin Klinmali, is a reporter for Siam Rath, and the woman was a protester.
As of 2pm, the centre said a 30-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman sustained leg injuries and sought medical treatment at hospitals after a blast by a small home-made bomb or firecracker near Makkawan Rangsan Bridge. 
The centre said 11 people had been killed and 617 others injured during the political rallies since November 30. Eight people remain in hospital.
Police attempts to take over rally sites:
4.10am: About 80 police vehicles and trucks head to the Metropolitan Police Bureau.
5am: Scores of police stand on the Phra Nakhon side of the entrance to Rama VIII Bridge.
5.20am: Armed police are seen inside Education Ministry compound.
5.40am: Gunshot-like sound is heard, apparently from inside the Education Ministry compound on Rajdamnoen Nok Road.
5.50am: Yommarat Road is crowded with police.
7am: Police and vehicles travel to the Royal Plaza and block the Nang Lerng intersection.
7.10am: Dozens of police trucks and vehicles park at the Royal Plaza. Police are seen eating as they stand by. 
7.30am: Deputy police chief General Worapong Chewpreecha announces officers will move to reclaim space from anti-government protesters. He does not say where.
7.44am: Police move from the Nang Lerng intersection to Ban Phitsanulok.
7.30am: Police in full riot gear start reclaiming areas near Democracy Monument through to Makkawan Rangsan Bridge, which is used as a rally site for anti-government protesters. They remove sacks of sand set up as barriers near the bridge. The small number of protesters do not resist. The areas were controlled by the Students and People’s Network for Thailand's Reform (STR) and Dharma Army.
7.30am: Many protesters and people at Pathumwan rally site give alms to monks to mark Makha Bucha Day. The event is guarded by rally security guards.
8am: STR leader Nitithorn Lumlua and STR supporters march to an unknown venue.
8am: Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Camronwit Toopgrajank leads police, commandos and explosive ordnance disposal police to inspect areas on Rajdamnoen Nok Road and the Misakawan Intersection. They are seen collecting evidence. Protesters remain at the site.
8.30am: Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrives in Ayutthaya with her son to pay respect at a temple. Scores turn out at Panuncheong Temple to welcome Yingluck and give her moral support.
9am: Hundreds of police gather at Muang Thong Thani. A police negotiating team tries to talk with Luang Pu Buddha Issara, the monk supervising the protests at the Chaeng Wattana rally site, in its attempt to reclaim the area.
9.30am: Scores of police are seen at IT Square shopping mall near the Chaeng Wattana rally site.
9.40am: STR spokesman Amorn Amornrattananon tells reporters that STR protesters have arrived at the Rajprasong Intersection and will gather at police headquarters on Pathumwan Road. Police then reclaim areas near the Misakawan Intersection and Makkawan Rangsan Bridge. “Police can only remove barriers made of sacks of sand. Our protesters are now safe,” Amorn said.
9.45am: Bomb squad members and sniffer dogs inspect storage areas near Makkawan Rangsan Bridge and find fertiliser, giant crackers, ping-pong bombs and slingshots.
10am: PDRC leaders Buddhipongse Punnakanta, Chumphon Junsai and Sakoltee Phattiyakul lead a group of people to back PDRC protesters already present at the Interior Ministry after learning of police plans to reclaim the rally site. 
10.15am: PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban meets with STR leaders Nitithorn and Uthai Yodmanee at Pathumwan rally site before going onstage to tell protesters to be calm. The three meet again for about half an hour before Suthep leaves in a vehicle to an unknown destination. The three wear serious expressions. 
10.45am: Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order chief Chalerm Yoobamrung says the centre would have launched a crackdown on protesters had it not been prohibited from doing so by the caretaker prime minister. He says Yingluck asked it not to suppress the protest for fear of bloodshed. However, he claims the centre will do something in the afternoon to deal with the PDRC.
Police tell protesters that they are going to reclaim the Chaeng Wattana rally site. Columns of police in full gear are set up about 100 metres from protesters, who sit down and pray. Luang Pu Buddha Issara, the monk who leads the protest, is on the stage, telling protesters to be calm. 
11.10am: An explosion, thought to be firecrackers, is heard near Makkawan Bridge. A female protester and a Siam Rath reporter are slightly injured.
11.40am: Police retreat from Chaeng Wattana and the Misakawan and Makkawan rally sites.
12pm: Suthep announces onstage at the Pathumwan rally site that the CMPO will try to crack down on the protesters in the next few days and calls for more supporters. 
2pm: A group of protesters led by PDRC figures Buddhipongse, Chumphon and Somsak Kosaisuk rally in front of the Metropolitan Police Bureau in reaction to police moves to reclaim protest sites.


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