Bangkok violence prompts cancellation of motorsport event

Bangkok violence prompts cancellation of motorsport event
Pro-government Thai Red Shirt supporters leave a stadium where they were rallying for the last few days in Bangkok on December 1, 2013.

BANGKOK - Organisers said Monday they have cancelled the Race of Champions motorsport event in the Thai capital Bangkok, as continuing skirmishes between police and anti-government protesters raise security fears.

The competition was due to be held on December 14 and 15 at a suburban stadium in the capital, where tens of thousands of pro-government "Red Shirt" supporters gathered for a rally last weekend.

But violence broke out around the stadium on Saturday involving anti-government protesters and Red Shirts, leaving several people dead and dozens more wounded.

The competition "cannot take place as planned... due to the current political situation in Bangkok", organisers said in a statement.

"Our thoughts are with the Thai people during this difficult period and we wish that a peaceful solution will be found," it said, adding they would try to hold the event in Bangkok in the future.

More than a month of peaceful rallies against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's embattled government have descended into violence.

Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon for a second day on Monday in another part of the city, to keep at bay demonstrators who are trying to break through their lines into key government buildings.

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