THAILAND - An five-year-old girl succumbed to injuries inflicted in an attack against the rally of the People's Democratic Reform Committee in Trat Saturday night that also saw 34 others injured, a doctor said.
Doctor Anurak Amornphetsathaporn, director of the Emergency Public Health Office of the Public Health Ministry, said the girl has died and 29 injured victims are still in hospitals. Five of them were severely wounded, he said.
Thirty-five people were injured in the attack against the rally in Trat's Khao Saming district at about 9.30pm.
The girl became the first child casualty in the latest round of political violence. She was hit by a grenade fragment at her head.
Anurak added that one of the five severely-injured victims of Trat rally attack is a seven-year-old child who was hit by a grenade fragment at the head.
He said the child is now being treated at the Rayong Provincial Hospital.
Some people have criticised parents for taking children to a political rally. However, some of the injured were at a nearby noodle stall and were injured by stray bullets.The spokesman of the People's Democratic Reform Committee in Trat Sunday expressed confidence that the attackers who lobbed grenades and fired at a PDRC rally in the eastern province are not local people.
Trat PDRC spokesman Suwicharn Suwannakha said all local people know and love each other well and he believe they are not opposed to the rally.
"All local people know each other. We expected no one to cause disturbance. We have no people from the other side here. We're confident that the rally would have been safe," Suwicharn said.
Suwicharn recounted that the attack happened while Pong Sarakham, a PDRC leader, was making a speech to about 2,000 people.
The spokesman said he heard a few explosions and sounds of gunfire and saw chairs in front of the rally stage scattered. Some people ran for their life and other lied down.
"It was chaotic. I saw two pick-up trucks speed away. I believe they were attackers," Suwicharn said.
He said the Trat PDRC had made good preparations and did not expect that the rally would be attacked.