Thai protest leader arrested, bomb injures 6: A core member of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) was arrested by police on Monday afternoon, while a bomb explosion injured six Bangkok street cleaners Monday morning.
Sonthiyan Chuenruthainaitham, who is also owner of the T-News agency and satellite television station, was arrested about 1:30pm while eating at the Central Department store in Bangkok’s Lat Phrao district, according to reports.
He was reportedly taken to the Region 1 Border Patrol Police headquarters located in Pathum Thani’s Khlong Luang district.
On February 5 Thailand’s Criminal Court approved arrest warrants for 19 PDRC leaders, including Mr Sonthiyan, as requested by the Department of Special Investigation for violating the emergency decree.
Also included among the 19 is PDRC secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban.
Meanwhile, a bomb exploded about 11:30am Monday on the median strip of Ratchadamnoen Avenue near the Phan Fa bridge, injuring six street cleaners, two of them seriously, who were working for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, according to a Bangkok Post report.
The bomb exploded while the workers were cleaning the median strip near Pom Mahakan Fort. No information has been issued on the type of bomb that exploded.
The two seriously injured were one male and one female. Four others were injured slightly, according to reports.
The anti-government People’s Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism (Pefot) protesters had been encamped at the site earlier where the explosion occurred.
An increasing number of bomb and gunshot attacks have been launched at the anti-government protesting groups as they continue their campaign to oust the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The rallies began over three months ago as protests against an amnesty bill pushed through parliament by the ruling Pheu Thai Party, which many feared was intended to pave the way for the fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra to return to Thailand as a free man. Thaksin claims the charges against him are politically motivated.
The protests have since turned into a campaign to force the government to step down.