Bangkok government protests escalate

For those not following the recent news from Thailand, the country has yet again been experiencing political unrest. The Red Shirts, supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, have been demonstrating on the streets of Bangkok since mid-March. The protests have been largely peaceful up to this Saturday, when events turned deadly. The BBC is reporting nine people were killed and 300 injured in the current skirmishes, including four civilians and a foreign Japanese journalist. The U.S. State Department has also issued a Travel Alert on the situation.

Although clashes have been isolated in a few spots in Bangkok, namely near the city’s Democracy Monument, clashes with the protesters, military and police this weekend edged closer to nearby tourist spot Khao San Road. Several Khao San Road tourists were apparently injured when they failed to move out of the way. Riot police have also been massing near Bangkok’s main shopping district in anticipation of an upcoming protest rally. The city’s Skytrain mass transit has also been temporarily halted.

Anyone planning an upcoming trip to Bangkok should keep a close eye on the situation and exercise extreme caution until the situation cools down.