BANGKOK — Security forces and agitated protesters faced off at a major intersection Friday after bloody grenade attacks rattled Thailand's chaotic capital — a scene of tense, weekslong confrontations between die-hard demonstrators and a wavering government.
The late-night attacks killed at least one person and wounded 86, according to the government's Erawan Emergency Center, which handles victim counts in crises and disasters. Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban had said three had died. It was not immediately possible to reconcile the conflicting accounts.
The attackers shot five M-79 grenades from near where anti-government Red Shirt protesters have been encamped and the blasts struck areas where counter-demonstrators have gathered, but the government stopped short of directly blaming the Red Shirts for the attack.
Thousands of mostly rural Red Shirts have been entrenched on Bangkok's streets since March 12 in a campaign to dissolve Parliament and hold immediate elections, and Thailand's powerful military has warned them that time is running out to clear the streets or face a crackdown.