Thailand: Video sparks accusations over bomb — A CNN news clip video of the grenade explosion that injured police officers during deadly clashes with anti-government protesters at the Phan Fah Bridge rally site last Tuesday has sparked fierce debate and accusations over who threw the grenade, say reports.
The CNN video, titled “On the scene of protests in Bangkok”, appeared on its website on Wednesday, the day after the clashes that left five dead, four protesters and one policeman, plus 71 people injured.
Police had been ordered by the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) to retake the rally site on Ratchadamnoen Avenue occupied by the Dhamma Army, an ally of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) headed by Suthep Thaugsuban.
The CNN video captured a riot policeman at Phan Fah Bridge throwing an object at protesters’ tents. The next shot showed black smoke from a blast with several police officers lying on the ground.
Because of the editing of the clip it was unclear how much time elapsed between the two shots.
The CNN reporter in the clip did not say where the grenade was thrown from.
The PDRC and the Democrat Party claimed the CNN video clearly showed the grenade was thrown by a policeman, but it bounced back and exploded among the riot police officers, according to a Bangkok Post report.
A BBC clip of what appears to be a different explosion, shows a grenade thrown at police lines from the direction of the protesters. It hit a police shield, prompting an officer to try to kick it away as it exploded, severely injuring his legs.
Police officials vehemently deny allegations that police officers used grenades in the Tuesday clashes, claiming that they used only teargas, rubber bullets, and non-lethal stun grenades, said reports.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Human Rights Office expressed “deep concern” about the violence.
It issued a statement saying: “Although all the details are not yet clear, it appears that a well-armed group associated with the anti-government protests quickly escalated the violence with the use of live ammunition. It also appears that police responded, shooting with live ammunition.”
It called on all sides to disassociate themselves from armed groups and refrain from violence.
View the series of CNN videos on the clash.