Thai Deputy PM says no plans to crack down on red shirts

2010-04-23 08:36 BJT

Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister says the government has no plans to crack down on red shirted protesters occupying a major commercial district in Bangkok. The announcement came after grenade explosions killed at least three people and wounded dozens.

At least five grenades exploded on Thursday in the center of Bangkok, as hundreds of panicked residents fled into the streets.

Three grenades were fired at a Skytrain station, which runs above Silom Road, in the center the capital's business district.

The blasts occurred near the site of a tense standoff between Red Shirted protesters and government troops, that has lasted for several days.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said the attackers shot the grenades from a nearby area where the Red Shirted protesters are encamped.

But he said the government has no plans to crack down on protesters in the area, because women and children were among the crowd. He appealed to the public to look after their safety.

Suthep Thaugsuban said, "People who gather in front of Silom intersection, please retreat from the roads near the protest site for your own safety."

The Red Shirts have denied any responsibility for the blasts. They have vowed to continue their protests, until their demands for new elections are met.

Thailand's army has already issued several warnings that it will move to break up the protests if they do not clear the area voluntarily. The army has cited several legal violations, including a state of emergency declared by the government.

Editor: Du Xiaodan | Source: