Videos Thailand clashes police, protesters Tuesday: Here are two videos of Thai riot police being attacked on Tuesday as they tried to seize the anti-government protest site at Phan Fah Bridge in Bangkok.
The government’s Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) chief Chalerm Yubamrung has blamed a “third hand” for Tuesday’s fatal clashes that left five dead and at least 71 injured.
One of those killed was a police officer, the others protesters and/or civilians. Of the injured, 19 were reportedly police officers.
Mr Chalerm express sorrow for the deaths and injuries to police officers and the people.
He said though he was confident the violence was instigated by a third party, but could not say clearly whether they were connected to either side in the political conflict.
Tarit Pengdith, chief of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and a member of the CMPO, has strongly denounced “unidentified armed elements” which he claimed had mingled with the anti-government protesters during the police operation to take control of the rally site.
The DSI chief said these unidentified men had used lethal weapons, which included high explosive hand grenades, M79 grenades, handguns, and high-velocity sniper rifles.
He also claimed PDRC leaders had agreed to let these armed elements mingle with the protesters, according to reports.
He said the police had only used shields, batons and rubber bullets, and had no intention of using lethal weapons against the protesters.
People’s Democratic Reform Committee leader Suthep Thaugsuban blamed the police for using weapons against the protesters, causing injuries and deaths.
A top army officer has denied speculation on social media that soldiers shot at police during the clashes, say reports.
Maj Gen Varah Boonyasit, commander of the 1st Division (King’s Guard), said military officers at the scene were ordered to help both protesters and police “without taking sides” by rushing those injured to safety, working with rescuers and hospitals.
He denounced those making false statements. He also said the soldiers at the scene were unarmed.
View the first video of the clash:
The second video shows Pol Sen Sgt Maj Theeradet Lekphoo trying to protect colleagues by kicking away a hand grenade thrown at police: