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Posted by admin on 2019-01-12 in 上海性息 with No Comments


A blast at Suvarnabhumi Airport and a series of grenade attacks across the troubled city have left several people wounded, as lawlessness spreads.

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Demonstrators stormed the showpiece airport on Tuesday night, dramatically escalating their campaign against Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat.

The airport – a $US3 billion ($AU4.61 billion) hub for travel throughout South-East Asia -has been closed indefinitely as guards from the People\’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protest movement blocked access roads.

“I have been informed by Thai Airways that 3,000 passengers are stranded at the terminal now,” airport director Saereerat Prasutanont told said, adding that 78 outbound and incoming flights had been cancelled.

“Protesters refused to negotiate with anyone except the prime minister.”

\’High threat\’ of terrorism

Australia\’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has warned Australians in Thailand to exercise a high degree of caution, saying there is a “high threat” of a terrorist attack amid the escalating political crisis.

The US embassy in Bangkok has told its nationals to stay away from the airport, while DFAT says on its website that Australians should check with their airline on the status of their flight, and the situation at the airport, before travelling to Suvarnabhumi.

Angry travellers who spent the night sleeping on baggage carousels and at check-in desks complained that they had nothing to eat or drink since the protesters burst into the two-year-old terminal.

“It\’s not fair,” said Vanessa Sloan, 31, from Florida, who had been due to fly to the northern city of Chiang Mai on Wednesday.

“We spent the night here after all the check-in staff ran away. No one is here to help.”

“We all came to Thailand because we love Thailand but this has left a very bad feeling,” added British retiree Jean McCartan.

Trapped passengers evacuated

Some PAD supporters later handed out sandwiches, biscuits and drinks to stranded passengers.

Authorities began evacuating passengers on buses late on Wednesday, but there were no announcements and a queue of about 1,000 people soon streamed up escalators as the vehicles trickled in one at a time, witnesses said.

“It was very unclear, Thai Airways staff said, \’We need to vacate the airport, go get your bags and get out\’,” said Andrea Neil, from Sydney.

Verity Rousset, from Perth, added: “They told us to come here and take the bus to a hotel. It was confusing. We don\’t know if it is mandatory.”

The anti-government PAD “agreed to allow Airports of Thailand (AOT) and Thai Airways to evacuate 3,000 stranded passengers into town as soon as possible”, an AOT official said.

“AOT will provide 15 buses and Thai Airways will be responsible for city accommodation,” the official said.

Control tower shut down

PAD protesters have vowed to occupy the airport until Somchai quits, adding that any airlines hoping to fly in our out would have to seek their permission.

A sea of about 8,000 demonstrators, wearing yellow clothes in a traditional symbol of loyalty to Thailand\’s revered monarchy, cheered on PAD leaders who gave speeches from a stage set up in the taxi drop-off area.

Control tower officials were sent home and authorities said the airport would remain closed until the end of the day at the earliest.

Authorities denied reports that protesters had seized the tower.

The PAD – a loose coalition comprising royalists, Bangkok\’s old elite and the middle class – is spreading chaos ahead of the prime minister\’s return from a trip to the APEC forum in Peru on Wednesday evening.

The alliance launched its campaign in May, accusing Somchai\’s government of being a corrupt puppet of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled in a 2006 coup and remains in exile to avoid corruption charges.

Support for PAD rallies has dropped in recent weeks, but its seizure of the airport leaves the government in a dilemma.

Tourism industry threatened

If it fails to act, Thailand\’s tourism industry and economy will be further hit, risking the possibility of another military putsch to prevent further chaos.

But the government will also want to avoid a repeat of clashes between protesters and police on October 7 that left two people dead and nearly 500 injured.

The Thai government said it had asked the security forces for assistance and refused to rule out the possibility of emergency action.

The government has been effectively paralysed since protesters occupied the prime minister\’s offices in central Bangkok in August, forcing Somchai to work from makeshift premises at Bangkok\’s old Don Mueang airport.

A grenade attack on demonstrators at Don Mueang wounded two people early Wednesday, emergency services said.

A near simultaneous blast at Suvarnabhumi left another two protesters injured.

Three more were hurt when two grenades were tossed into a crowd of pro-government supporters on a road to Don Mueang, the site of a clash between rival activists that left 11 hurt on Tuesday, police said.

Somchai has rejected calls to quit. His plane back from the APEC summit was due to land at an undisclosed location on Wednesday evening.

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