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Countries step up Bangkok travel warnings after clashes


4/23/2010

Published on Apr 23, 2010

Countries across the world have upgraded their travel advisories for Bangkok in the wake of last night’s violent clashes in the Thai capital. Hong Kong SAR has raised its warning level to the highest level, ‘black’, telling its citizens to avoid all travel to Bangkok. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade has urged its citizens to reconsider all travel to Thailand, while the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office has advised against all but essential travel to Bangkok. The US State Department also advised its citizens against non-essential travel to Bangkok, and to exercise caution in other parts of the country.

Three people are thought to have died, while 75 others were injured last night in a series of grenade attacks. The Bangkok Post reported that an M-79 grenade launcher had been used to fire grenades into the area where the army and government supporters had converged. One came down through the roof of the Sala Daeng sky train station, while another landed near the Dusit Thani Hotel. The BBC reported that foreigners were among those hurt. The United Nations has urged both sides to show
restraint.

The Thai army had been camped along Silom Road, preventing anti-government demonstrators from extending their protests into the popular tourist area. The area is home to many high-end hotels, as well as the famous Patpong night market and red-light district. International hotels and shopping malls in the Rajprasong district of the city have already been affected by the protests.

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