BANGKOK – Soldiers and civilians hauled away bloodied victims after a series of grenade attacks Thursday in a new burst of violence in Thailand’s chaotic capital, the scene of a tense, weeks-long standoff between anti-government protesters and security forces.

A Thai woman was killed and 75 other people wounded, according to the government’s Erawan emergency center.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said attackers shot five M-79 grenades from a nearby area where the anti-government Red Shirt protesters are encamped. But his brief statement televised live late Thursday night on all channels seemed to stop short of directly blaming the Red Shirts, and he urged people who had been demonstrating against them to leave the area for their own safety.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, whom the Red Shirts want to dissolve parliament and call elections, did not make a public appearance. The Red Shirts consist mainly of poor rural supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and pro-democracy activists who opposed the military coup that ousted him in 2006 after months of demonstrations by the Yellow Shirts.

The Red Shirts believe Abhisit’s government is illegitimate because it came to power under military pressure through a parliamentary vote after disputed court rulings ousted two elected pro-Thaksin governments.

The first three blasts happened at about 8 p.m. at the elevated mass transit station on Silom Road, which is close to the Patpong entertainment district, famous for its go-go bars. Grenades punched two holes in the platform roof, and passengers were rushed away down the station’s stairs by soldiers who were stationed there. At least two people were hurt, though apparently not seriously.

About 30 minutes later two more blasts occurred at an intersection filled with anti-Red Shirt demonstrators and bystanders. One grenade exploded in front of a sandwich shop near the entrance to a hotel driveway and the other a dozen yards down Silom Road in front of a bank.

Chaos ensued, as the scores of wounded were tended to and carried to ambulances. The front window of the sandwich shop was shattered, and a pool of blood was on its stoop.


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