independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Thailand rocked by bomb attacks and street protests

Thai security personnel inspect a vehicle at the site of a bomb attack in Songkhla province, south of Bangkok

Three bombs have exploded in southern Thailand, injuring more than two dozen people in what appears to be an attack by Islamic insurgents.

Police said a car bomb outside a hotel in Songkhla caused the most damage. Two other bombs concealed on motorcycles exploded outside two police stations.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in predominantly Buddhist Thailand's three Muslim-dominated southernmost provinces since an Islamic insurgency erupted in 2004.

RALLIES

Meanwhile, in Bangkok, the head of the country's anti-government protest movement vowed to hound caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra "until she is dead or until she leaves" office.

Addressing supporters after a day of rallies all over Bangkok involving more than 100,000 people, Suthep Thaugsuban issued a series of threats to try to achieve his goal of forcing Ms Yingluck to step down and make way for an interim government before a snap election called for February 2.

The main opposition Democrat Party has said it would boycott the polls.

Mr Suthep's so-called People's Democratic Reform Committee says forcing Ms Yingluck from office is necessary to purge corruption and money politics.

The protest movement, launched in October, has returned Thailand to a state of political instability, a condition from which it has suffered since 2006, when Ms Yingluck's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, was deposed as prime minister by a military coup.

Irish Independent

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