11 July 2024

Police are investigating an incident, which took place last night (Sunday), when an apparently home-made cherry bomb was hurled into the compound of the First Infantry Regiment of the Royal Guards on Vibhavadi Rangsit highway, where the official residence of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is located.

According to police, at about 7.50 pm last night, a cherry bomb was thrown into the barracks by one of two suspects on a motorcycle. No injuries were reported so far.

Police have since arrested a 20-year-old rapper for questioning, after discovering several firecrackers and smoke flares in his apartment in Bangkok’s Khlong Toei area.

Police searched the apartment of “Book”, a member of the “Eleven Finger” rap band, last night, after they were alerted, by his neighbours, to the sound of several explosions at about 6pm.

The suspect admitted that he joined the red-shirt event at the October 14th Memorial yesterday afternoon, but denied throwing a cherry bomb into the compound of the First Infantry Regiment, although he said he did drive through the area on his motorcycle yesterday.

Red-shirt followers gathered at the October 14th Memorial on Ratchadamnoen Avenue yesterday to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the violent crackdown against protesters by government forces.

According to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), the rapper is being held in police custody on a charge of illegal possession of explosive devices.

The barracks were the target of bomb and firecracker attacks during the height of the protests by the hard-core Talugas groups in the middle of last year, when they fought running street battles with police at and around Din Daeng intersection.

Cherry bombs have frequently been used in politically motivated incidents in Thailand, especially in Bangkok.