1 Feb 2014

Three injured in Thailand protests ahead of election

Three people are injured in tense Bangkok protests the day before general elections are due to be held.

Three people were injured in Thailand in the latest demonstrations ahead of a general election

It was unclear whether the injured people belonged to government supporters or their opponents as explosions and dozens of gunshots rang out amid anti-government protests.

Some anti-government protesters are planning to block voting in an election that seems almost certain to return Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to power, although the ballot appears unlikely to return stability to Thailand.

The attack took place in Bangkok’s Laksi district, close to the Don Muang airport.

Ten people have died and at least 577 have been wounded in politically related violence in Thailand since November.

State of emergency

Last week a Thai anti-government protest leader was shot and killed in Bangkok as violence erupted in demonstrations aimed at preventing early voting ahead of a disputed election next week.

The government announced a state of emergency late in the wake of a string of attacks that have mostly been aimed at demonstrators protesting peacefully in Bangkok.

Protesters are calling for Yingluck Shinawatra, the Thai prime minister, to step down. She is accused of being a proxy for her brother, ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Ms Yingluck called a national election for 2 February, one she is expected to win because of a large rural support base. However, the largely middle class and royalist supporting protesters are opposed to this.

Early voting was due to take place in 50 polling stations across the Thai capital on Sunday, but 45 of these were closed due to protests.