Bangkok cleans up after clashes leave 52 deadMay 21st, 2010 - 12:46 pm ICT by IANS
Bangkok, May 21 (DPA) Violence-weary residents of Bangkok Friday began to clean and rebuild their city after a week of mayhem left 52 people dead and 401 injured, officials said.
The city’s Erawan Emergency Centre said 159 people remained hospitalised, 15 of them in intensive care.
The violence reached a peak Wednesday when 15 people were killed and 103 injured during and after an assault by army troops on the central Ratchaprasong district, where protesters calling for the dissolution of parliament and new elections had been camped on the streets and sidewalks since April 3.
The local government said more than 300 incidents of rioters vandalising public property had been reported since Wednesday with 36 buildings destroyed or damaged by arson attacks.
A curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. was in force until at least Sunday morning, and the skytrain and subway transit systems remained out of service. Government offices were closed until Monday.
Parts of Rama IV Road, which cuts through the centre of the city and was the scene of fierce clashes between troops and rioters, remained a shambles Friday with burned tyres, trash and the smouldering ruins of many ruined shops and food stalls littering the area.
Military officials said it would be at least another day or two until the Ratchaprasong area, home to some of the city’s most luxurious shopping malls and hotels, could be reopened to the public.
The Bangkok Post website quoted Lieutenant General Dapong Rattanasuwan as saying security officials entering the area Thursday found gas tanks that were hidden inside the Four Seasons Hotel, were wired with explosives and ready to go off.
A large part of the Central World shopping mall, one of the biggest shopping centres in Asia, collapsed after it was set alight by angry protesters when troops and armoured vehicles moved in Wednesday.
Central World is part of the Central Department Group, deemed a supporter of Thailand’s bureaucratic elite, which was vilified by the demonstration’s leaders who painted their movement as a “class war” and “people’s revolution”.
Protesters also set fire to 10 branches of Bangkok Bank, another business group deemed close to the establishment, and an 11th branch was set on fire west of Bangkok Thursday night.
The United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), which is supported politically and financially by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, started demonstrating in Bangkok March 12.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva offered a “road map” for reconciliation, proposing an early dissolution of parliament and an election in November in return for an end to the Bangkok protests, but UDD leaders could not persuade their hard-line followers to abandon the Ratchaprasong protest site.
- Order restored in Bangkok after clashes leave 53 dead (Lead) - May 21, 2010
- Bangkok limps back to normal, but divisions remain - May 22, 2010
- Thai troops face stubborn resistance as casualties mount - May 17, 2010
- Thai opposition submits no-confidence motion against government - May 24, 2010
- Post-protest rampage in Bangkok leaves 16 dead - May 20, 2010
- Curfew to be imposed as 24 killed in Thailand protest - May 16, 2010
- Bloody street battles in Bangkok claim 16 lives (Lead) - May 15, 2010
- Anti-government protesters in Thailand demand release of leaders - Sep 17, 2010
- Thailand protesters reject call to end demonstrations - Apr 05, 2010
- Thai protesters storm TV satellite station - Apr 09, 2010
- Barricades set up as Thai Army battles protesters - May 16, 2010
- Thai premier scraps early election proposal - May 13, 2010
- Thousands of anti-government protesters rally in Bangkok - Jan 24, 2011
- Thai premier's national TV broadcast disrupted - Apr 25, 2010
- 10 bodies found in Bangkok shopping centre - May 21, 2010
Tags: angry protesters, armoured vehicles, army troops, arson attacks, bangkok post, bureaucratic elite, dissolution of parliament, emergency centre, erawan, fierce clashes, food stalls, gas tanks, hospitalised, lieutenant general, rama iv, rioters, service government, shopping centres, shopping malls, skytrain