Protesters disperse after clashing with police, rubber bullets, tear-gas fired

Anti-government protesters have dispersed after clashing with anti-riot police who fired tear-gas and rubber bullets to stop them from approaching an army unit on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road which houses the residence of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

There were no immediate official reports of injuries but journalists at the scene reported seeing some protesters and policemen injured.

It was the most violent anti-Prayut demonstration in recent weeks which saw protesters hurl projectiles at hundreds of anti-riot police guarding the First Infantry Battalion of the First Regiment of the Royal Guards. The police responded with tear-gas, rubber bullets and high-pressure water jets.

The protesters, demonstrating under the name of the so-called “Free Youths Group”, first converged at the Victory Monument before marching to the army unit.   They managed to remove some of the containers placed by authorities to block their passage in front of the army barrack and confronted the police.

The leadership of the demonstration was unclear as the protesters claimed to be “leaderless” and organized the demonstration via social media platforms.

The protesters ignored repeated orders by police to disperse, shouting obscenities at them.    The protest seriously disrupted traffic on the normally busy Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

Though some protesters were seen apprehended by the police during the melee, there were no immediate official reports of arrests or charges filed.

Most protesters started dispersing at around 9.30 pm, as police took control of the situation.

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)