Thailand: ‘Foreign force’ suspected in attack on protesters

A protester injured in an anti-government rally arrives at a hospital in Trat Province, 300 kilometers (180 miles) east of Bangkok, Thailand on Feb, 22, 2014. A five-year-old girl was killed and at least 34 people were hurt in the Saturday night attack by gunmen who shot into the crowd and threw two explosive devices. (AP Photo/Daily News)

Thailand: ‘Foreign force’ suspected in attack on protesters — An armed foreign force carried out the attack on an anti-government protest gathering that killed a five-year-old girl in Trat on Saturday night, said the commander of the Thai Navy SEALS.

Rr Adm Winai Klom-in, who commands the Naval Special Warfare Command, or Navy SEALs, said he believed strongly that it was the work of a foreign force which had sneaked into Thailand from across the border, according to reports.

“Now you can see what has happened. Who else would do things like this in this area? As I told you, foreign forces are brutal”, he said.

The five-year-old girl who died was reportedly shot in the head.

It was beyond doubt that it was a foreign force behind the attack. When asked to prove his suspicion, he responded: “Thais would not do this to fellow Thais”, the Bangkok Post reported.

Gunmen drove by in two pick-up trucks at 9:30pm Saturday while about 2,000 people were listening to a speech on the stage of a People’s Democratic Reform Committee rally in Trat province, about 300 kilometres east of Bangkok, according to a PDRC spokesman.

Men in the first truck threw grenades at a noodle shop where about 20 people, including PDRC guards, were sitting.

Gunmen in the second truck fired at noodle shop and then at the stage.

In addition to the child killed, 34 other people were wounded in the attack, according to reports.

The total number of people killed in Thailand’s political violence since Nov 30 now stands at 17, with another 739 wounded, said Health Department chief Suphan Srithammarak on Sunday.

Of the 739 people wounded, 695 of them were injured in Bangkok.