Thai anti-government protesters clash with police in Bangkok
More than a thousand Thai anti-government protesters clashed with police on Saturday, as they demonstrated against the government's failure to handle coronavirus outbreaks and its impact on the economy.
About a hundred police officers in riot gear sealed off a road near the Victory Monument in the capital Bangkok with containers and used water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets to stop a march towards Government House, the office of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.
“Tear gas and rubber bullets were used for crowd control. Our goal is to maintain order,” Krisana Pattanacharoen, a police spokesman, told reporters.
The demonstrators threw ping pong bombs, stones and marbles, he added.
Dozens of protesters were seen being carried away on motorcycles and in ambulances.
The Erawan Emergency Medical Centre said at least two civilians and three officers had been injured.
“We want Prayuth to resign because people aren't getting vaccines,” said a 23-year-old male protester, who only gave his first name “Aom”, for fear of repercussions.
“We don’t have jobs and income, so we have no choice but protest.”
Some 6 per cent of Thailand’s population of more than 66 million has been fully vaccinated and most of the country including Bangkok is under lockdown with a night-time curfew.