PROTESTERS were hit with volleys of water cannon and tear gas near the Government House after marching there from Victory Monument and trying to dismantle rolls of barbed wire to get closer to the complex with this triggering a clash with the police, Siam Rath and Sanook.com said.
The Thalufah (Through the Sky) activist protest group had earlier again intended to march to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s house within the First Infantry Regiment compound on Vibhavadi Rangsit road, but after going down Phaholyothin Soi 2 to avoid Din Daeng junction which has turned into a battleground between protesters and riot police, turned around and headed for the Government House.
Police had built up a strong barrier around the Government with concertina wire, containers and metal panels.
During their march there the protesters blared the horn of their vehicles while police warned them over megaphones that they were breaking the law.
Read earlier reports: Protesters head for Govt House, avoid Din Daeng battlefield
When the protesters reached Chamai Maruchet Bridge near the Government House they were faced with a large barrier of containers. Initially there was no violence with the protesters giving speeches attacking the government while the police urged them to keep their rally peaceful.
However at 6 p.m. reporters at the scene said they heard continuous sounds like gunfire which was followed by tear gas being sprayed with this leading to protesters shouting while police intermittently told the protesters to end their rally over their megaphones.
Protesters hit by tear gas and water cannon near the Government House today (Aug. 16). All photos: Siam Rath