Thursday, October 30, 2008

Grenade thrown at Thai protesters

Thu 30 Oct 2008, 3:09 GMT

BANGKOK (Reuters) - At least six members of an anti-government street movement in Thailand were wounded on Thursday when a grenade was thrown into their protest zone in the middle of the night, domestic radio and television said.

State-run television channel NBT said that at around 3 a.m. a man riding on the back of a motorbike threw the grenade at a barricade manned by guards for the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which has been campaigning since May to unseat the government.

Two of the guards were admitted to hospital, one with serious neck and leg wounds, the station reported. The rest were treated by medics from inside the PAD protest zone, which includes the Prime Minister's official compound overrun in August.

The PAD are preparing a march to the British embassy on Thursday to try to pressure London to extradite former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a 2006 coup and sentenced in absentia to two years in jail for corruption last week.

Thaksin has been in England for the last three months after skipping bail.

Thailand's political crisis dates back to 2005 when the PAD, a motley group of royalist academics, businessmen and social activists, launched their street campaign against Thaksin.

It has meandered through a coup to elections and back to protests and shows no signs of resolution.

(Reporting by Vithoon Amorn; Writing by Ed Cropley; Editing by Darren Schuettler and Bill Tarrant)