Thai rebels clash with police in Bangkok


Bangkok — More than 1000 Thai rebels clashed with police on Saturday. They demonstrated against the government’s failure to handle the outbreak of the coronavirus and its impact on the economy.

Approximately 100 police officers in riot control equipment block the road near the Victory Monument in Bangkok with water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets to use the government, the office of Prime Minister Playut Chan Ocha. The march to the government building has stopped.

“Tear gas and rubber bullets were used to control the crowd. Our goal is to maintain order,” police spokesman Krisana Pattanacharoen told reporters.

He added that the demonstrators threw ping-pong bombs, stones and marbles.

Dozens of protesters were seen being carried away by motorcycles and ambulances. The Erawan Emergency Medical Center said at least two civilians and three police officers were injured.

“I want to resign Prayut because people aren’t vaccinated,” said a 23-year-old male protester who named him only “Aom” for fear of impact.

A man reacts to tear gas during a clash with police in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 7, 2021, in protest of what the demonstrators call the outbreak of coronavirus disease. (Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters)

“We have no work or income, so we have no choice but to protest.”

Approximately 6% of Thailand’s population of more than 66 million is fully vaccinated, and most countries, including Bangkok, are blocked by curfew. Currently, meetings of more than 5 people are prohibited.

Nonetheless, street protests against the government have been underway in recent weeks by several groups, including the former Prayut Party Alliance, due to growing dissatisfaction with managing the health crisis.

Thailand reported on Saturday about 22,000 new COVID-19 infections in one day, with the highest death toll, 212 deaths.

In Southeast Asian countries, the total number of cases of coronavirus has been reported to be 736,522 and the number of deaths has been reported to be 6,066 since the pandemic began last year.

By Jiraporn Kuhakan and Chayut Setboonsarng