- POSTED: 20 Jan 2014 10:50
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The United States urged its citizens on Sunday to stay away from protest sites in Thailand, amid an upsurge in deadly violence during anti-government demonstrations.
WASHINGTON: The United States urged its citizens on Sunday to stay away from protest sites in Thailand, amid an upsurge in deadly violence during anti-government demonstrations.
Unknown attackers have killed several people during the months-long protests intended to oust the embattled government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Each side has blamed the other for the bloodshed.
"US citizens are cautioned that even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence," the State Department said in a travel alert.
"You should avoid protest sites, demonstrations and large gatherings. Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to local news media reports."
The warning came on the same day that 28 people were injured in an attack on a rally in central Bangkok, the second such assault in recent days.
The twin blasts followed by gunshots at a busy intersection occupied by the protesters heightened fears of growing violence before elections called by Yingluck for February 2.
"The situation is unpredictable and ongoing demonstration activity, primarily in the greater Bangkok area and occasionally elsewhere in Thailand, is expected to continue," the State Department said.
"Some protest sites are located near tourist attractions and popular shopping malls, which at times have closed or shortened hours unexpectedly," said the alert, which expires on February 14.
"Protests may occur in other areas with little or no prior notice."
Thailand has been rocked by bouts of bloody unrest since just before a 2006 military coup that ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.