Bangkok protest: Attackers given 'tacit' authority support, says PDRC

Thai riot police officers assist a colleague after an explosion during clashes with anti-government protesters near the Government House in Bangkok February 18, 2014.

THAILAND - People's Democratic Reform Committee co-leader Witthaya Kaewparadai suspects the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order and police failed to arrest assailants who hurled grenades near the PDRC rally at the Pratunam intersection on Friday because they "allegedly gave tacit support to them".

Speaking yesterday, Witthaya said the police had repeatedly failed to arrest assailants who launched several bomb attacks at PDRC rallies.

"Their inefficiency and failure have made the culprits continue to commit more offences," he said.

"But I personally believe the police and the CMPO do not capture any of the assailants because they allegedly gave tacit support to them.

"Having the CMPO is a waste. It was established only to abuse power and intimidate people. I never expect it to capture the culprits.''

Pheu Thai Party deputy spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard said police believed perpetrators threw the grenades from the flyover next to the PDRC rally stage.

Police found a pin believed to belong to the time-delayed RGD5 hand grenade, which is similar to the grenades used in the attacks at Bantadthong Road and Victory Monument.

Given the repeated violence, Anusorn questioned whether the PDRC could call its rallies a peaceful demonstration.

He also questioned whether it was possible the so-called men in black from the 2010 political riots had returned to carry out the same operation this year.

He said those who benefited from the recurrence of the violence were suspected to be behind it.

Five men and a woman were injured in the bomb attack on Friday night.

Five sustained minor injuries and one suffered a serious back wound and has been admitted to Chulalongkorn Hospital.

All up, 16 people have been killed and 659 injured since November 30, with 25 still in hospital, according to the Erawan Emergency Centre.

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