Anti-government agitators make bonfire before police clashes in Bangkok


Anti-government agitators made bonfires before they clashed with police amid violent scenes in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday evening (August 16).

Crowds gathered in the Din Daeng area of the capital before hurling rocks and explosives at officers manning road blocks.

One demonstrator was injured after being struck with a rubber bullet during the unrest and taken to hospital where he is in a critical condition.

Police dismissed false claims from the anti-government protesters that they had used live rounds. They said that rubber bullets and tear gas were used in response to the attacks from the anarchists.

Anger at the regime – which seized power with a military coup in 2014 – has grown in recent years sparking protests. The Thailand protest movement lost momentum due to the coronavirus but has resumed in recent weeks. 

Activists are demanding new elections, the prime minister to resign and a new constitution with ‘more democracy’.

Ministers say the unrest is being funded by disaffected opposition, exiled politicians and extremist groups who encourage students to join the protests. They have cited evidence that social media bots are being used to stir the unrest among the impressionable youth.

Ministers have banned gatherings of more than five people and rolled out a 9pm curfew due to the Covid-19 pandemic but the laws have been ignored by the demonstrators.