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Six wounded in explosion at Bangkok protest site

world Updated: Feb 10, 2014 12:24 IST
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Six street cleaners have been wounded by a small explosion at an anti-government protest site in Thailand's capital on Monday, police said.

The explosion was caused by an improvised bomb or a giant firecracker that went off before noon on Monday when the cleaners from the city hall were changing tree pots on a street island near the rally site in central Bangkok, Police Major Nopparuj Jitman told The Associated Press.

Two of the workers were seriously injured and hospitalised, Erawan emergency medical services said.

The demonstrators have occupied major intersections in Bangkok and blocked off several government ministries, forcing employees to work elsewhere.

They want caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down to make way for an interim appointed government to implement what they say are necessary reforms to fight corruption. They've been protesting since November and have battled police on several occasions.

Yingluck has refused to step down, arguing she was elected by a large majority and is open to reform, but that such a council would be unconstitutional and undemocratic.

Protest faction leader Saemdin Lertbutr said none of the protesters were injured in the incident.

"The opponents must have only wanted to create a situation or scare us because the intensity of the blast was neither very serious nor life-threatening," Saemdin said.

At least 10 people have been killed and scores hospitalised during the unrest.