1 per­son dies, 10 in­jured in bus stop blast in Thai­land

Austin American-Statesman - - MONDAYBRIEFING - By Than­yarat Dok­sone

BANGKOK — A bomb at a bus stop in down­town Bangkok killed one per­son and wounded 10 oth­ers Sun­day shortly af­ter polls closed in a par­lia­men­tary elec­tion that pit­ted a govern­ment can­di­date against a jailed leader of re­cent mass protests in the Thai cap­i­tal.

At the site of the ex­plo­sion, Po­lice Maj. Gen. Anuchai Lek­bam­roong de­clined to spec­u­late on whether the bomb­ing was re­lated to Thai­land’s con­tin­ued po­lit­i­cal tur­bu­lence in the wake of the street demon­stra­tions that par­a­lyzed much of the cap­i­tal for weeks.

The bomb wounded 10 Thais and one woman from Myan­mar, all of whom were hos­pi­tal­ized, ac­cord­ing to the govern­ment’s Erawan Cen­ter, which ac­counts for ca­su­al­ties in such in­ci­dents. A 51-year-old Thai man died dur­ing an op­er­a­tion at the Po­lice Hos­pi­tal, ac­cord­ing to a nurse who de­clined to give her name be­cause she was not au­tho­rized to speak with the press.

The elec­tion was seen as a test of strength for the Red Shirt move­ment, which from March to May staged demon­stra­tions that were fi­nally put down with lethal force. The pro­test­ers had de­manded that Prime Min­is­ter Ab­hisit Ve­j­ja­jiva dis­solve par­lia­ment and call a gen­eral elec­tion.

In the by-elec­tion, Panich Vik­it­sreth, a vice min­is­ter for for­eign af­fairs with the rul­ing Demo­crat Party, gar­nered about 54 per­cent of the vote over Kokaew Pikulthong, a jailed Red Shirt leader, ac­cord­ing to un­of­fi­cial re­sults from the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion.

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