BANGKOK — An apparent grenade attack against anti-government protesters occupying an upscale shopping area of Thailand's capital killed at least two people Sunday, the latest violence in a monthslong political crisis that is growing bloodier by the day.
The attack near the Ratchaprasong intersection in the heart of Bangkok, home to major shopping malls and luxury hotels, followed another assault on anti-government protesters in eastern Thailand on Saturday night that killed a young girl and wounded dozens of other people.
The attacks were the latest in a spate of protest-related violence roiling Thailand over the past three months, with at least 18 people killed and hundreds hurt. The protesters, who are occupying several key intersections in Bangkok, want Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to quit to make way for an appointed interim government to implement anti-corruption reforms, but she has refused.
The two people killed in Sunday's attack were a 40-year-old woman and a 12-year-old boy, the Erawan emergency medical services center said. Another 22 people were injured.
On Saturday night, a 5-year-old girl was killed and about three dozen people wounded in an attack on an anti-government rally in the eastern province of Trat.
The perpetrators have not been identified in either attack. Both sides in the ongoing political dispute have blamed the other for instigating violence.
A protest leader, Sathit Wongnongtoey, said Sunday's explosion was caused by a grenade. Six protesters were hurt Friday night by a grenade attack in the same area.
Explosives experts from the police and army cordoned off the immediate area of the blast to search for clues amid vendors' overturned tables and bloodied sandals. Protesters, meanwhile, continued to rally on streets in the area that they have occupied for several weeks, while soldiers patrolled in combat gear.