Updated: 01/17/2014 15:14 | By Agence France-Presse

Blast hits opposition protest march in Thai capital

A bomb blast hit an opposition protest march in the Thai capital on Friday, police said, the latest in a series of attacks by unknown assailants against demonstrators seeking to oust the government.


Blast hits opposition protest march in Thai capital

Thai protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban receives donations from supporters during a rally in Bangkok on January 17, 2014 - by Pornchai Kittiwongsakul

Twenty-two people were hurt in the explosion, according to the protest movement's own Bluesky television channel.

"The bomb went off shortly after 1 pm (0600 GMT)," deputy national police spokesman Anucha Romyanan said.

Police were investigating what type of explosive device caused the blast.

Television footage showed several people lying on the ground as ambulances rushed away the wounded. Protesters were seen searching nearby buildings for the attackers.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has faced more than two months of street demonstrations aimed at forcing her elected government from office and installing an appointed body to oversee loosely defined reforms such as an end to alleged vote buying.

Eight people have been killed and hundreds injured in street violence since the protests began.

There have been a series of drive-by shootings at rally sites that the demonstrators have blamed on the authorities.

"Yingluck must take responsibility," one of the protest leaders, Satit Wonghnongtaey, said on stage soon after the blast.

The protesters aim to curb the political dominance of Yingluck's billionaire brother, fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, whom they accuse of controlling the government from self-exile.

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