POLICE stepped up surveillance at all police-related locations in Bangkok after four men linked to the Din Daeng protest group lobbed an explosive-like object at a Lumpini station patrol car as they rode by on a single motorcycle with three being caught after a chase, Siam Rath newspaper said.
At 6 a.m. this morning just as Pol. Lt. Col. Kiatkul Khaopradit, deputy police chief of Lumpini police station, was driving a patrol car near Ratchaprasong intersection, these four men riding down from Pratunam intersection and heading for Saladaeng intersection suddenly threw the explosive-like device towards the vehicle at Ratchaprasong intersection causing a loud noise.
Lumpini police chased the youths down Sararin road, Witthayu intersection, Rama 4 intersection and three of them were finally caught at the entrance of Sukhumvit Soi 97/1 with the fourth having escaped.
The three arrested suspects, Mr. Pichai, 30, who was the driver, Mr. Naruebet, 26, sitting in the middle, and an 18-year-old youth sitting in the rear, confessed to attacking the police patrol car with their action stemming from political issues as all of them had been joining the protests at the Din Daeng hotspot.
Police are hunting for the fourth suspect while having seized 114 marbles, some slingshots and nine firecrackers from the trio arrested.
Metropolitan Police headquarters has ordered tight security at all symbolic locations linked to police in Bangkok particularly during the 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew as these groups are expected to choose to mount similar attacks as occurred this morning during the curfew period.
Metropolitan police also warned of possible chaos today as three protest groups are holding demonstrations with the public urged to avoid Asoke-Din Daeng route from Rama 9 intersection till Din Daeng intersection, both inbound and outbound sides of Vibhavadi Rangsit road from beneath Din Daeng intersection till Suthisarn intersection and Phaholyothin Soi 2, Victory Monument expressway exit ramp and the Din Daeng tunnel.
The three protest groups are Citizens Retaliation group demonstrating in front of the Supreme Court at 5 p.m., the Four Regions Slum group at the Transport Ministry at 8.30 a.m. and the Thalu Gas group activist group at the Din Daeng intersection at 5.30 p.m.
The Din Daeng protesters who were arrested after allegedly lobbing a bomb-like device at a Lumpini police patrol vehicle early this morning. Photos: Siam Rath