Gun attack on home of Thai protest leader's mum

Forensic police inspect the scene of a shooting attack in front of a summer house of Khunying Sasima Srivikorn, the mother of anti government protest leader Taya Teepsuwan, in Nakhon Ratchasima yesterday.

A summer house of the mother of an anti-government protest leader was targeted in an assault rifle attack early yesterday.

The anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee denounced the latest attack targeting protest leaders.

It said the attack could be linked to an incident on Wednesday, in which protest leader Taya Teepsuwan and her husband Nataphol blew whistles at Khunying Pojaman na Pombejra, the former wife of ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, at a Bangkok shopping mall.

The attack occurred at about 3am while Taya's mother Khunying Sasima Srivikorn

and her mother's friends were inside the house in Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Chong district, said PDRC spokesman Akanat Promphan.

Three assailants arrived in front of the house in a black pickup truck, Sasima's driver was quoted by police as saying, adding that two of the men alighted the vehicle and fired indiscriminately into the front of the house while the driver remained in the car.

A perimeter wall and lettering that spelt out the house's name "Chalia Suk" (Sharing Happiness) were riddled with bullet holes.

Nakhon Ratchasima police commander Colonel Pongdej Phromijit labelled the attack an attempt to threaten but not kill.

He said police were investigating if the attack was connected to an attack on Taya and Nataphol's Bangkok home.

A source in the police investigation team said Taya's mother was unlikely to be the target of the attack.

"Initial investigations found that Khunying Sasima has no enemies," the source said.

"This incident took place shortly after Taya and her husband blew whistles at Khunying Pojaman. The investigators will try to determine if the two incidents are connected."

On Friday, a homemade pipe bomb was thrown into the couple's house on Sukhumvit Soi 18.

Nataphol, a former Democrat Party MP, claimed the attack was a scare tactic in response to his and Taya's well-publicised whistle-blowing attack.

Police Colonel Chutrakul Yosmanee, a superintendent at Thong Lor police station, said police would check footage from a security camera set up outside the couple's house.

He said police patrolmen had been instructed to guard against another attack on the property.

Taya is a former deputy governor of Bangkok. Her wealthy family runs many businesses including a school and a hotel.

Her mother also heads a foundation that has donated Bt10 million (S$390,000) to fund the education of the children of protesters killed while at PDRC rallies, a PDRC spokesman said.