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Protesters pelt Thai premier with shoes

A group of angry anti-government protesters pelted Thai PM Somchai Wongsawat with shoes and bottles, but the premier insisted he would not step down.

world Updated: Oct 22, 2008 20:21 IST

A group of angry anti-government protesters on Wednesday pelted Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat with shoes and bottles, but the premier insisted he would not step down.

About 300 unionists confronted Somchai, who is battling calls for his resignation and demonstrations against his rule, outside the communications ministry in the morning.

"You're a murderer, you're a monitor lizard, shame on you," members of the state telecommunications union shouted.

Somchai entered and left the building surrounded by a security team, as protesters booed and threw shoes, sandals and bottles at him.

Later in the day, Somchai told reporters that he escaped unscathed from the attack, but a bodyguard was hit.

"This morning was a bit colourful, but I have to work and I am not worried about these things - people can have different opinions," Somchai said.

"It would not be a problem for me to resign, but what will people get from my departure? ... I cannot stop working otherwise government development projects would be halted."

Somchai has been in his post for just over a month, but has been under increasing pressure to resign after bloody street battles between police and protesters in Bangkok on October 7 left two people dead and nearly 500 hurt.