Hundreds of riot police attempted to clear out anti-government protest sites around Thailand’s capital on Tuesday, triggering clashes that left 4 people dead and 64 others injured.
Erawan emergency medical services said three civilians and a police officer died and 64 others were injured in Tuesday’s clashes, including a journalist working for Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV.
Department of Special Investigation chief Tharit Pengdit told a news conference that the protesters had launched grenades at the police. Police later withdrew.
In another blow to the government, the state anti-corruption agency charged Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday with improperly handling an expensive rice subsidy scheme, putting her in jeopardy of being impeached.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission said Ms. Yingluck has been called to formerly hear the charges on February 27. If it decides to submit the case to the Senate for possible impeachment, Ms. Yingluck will immediately be suspended from performing her official duties pending a Senate trial.
Tuesday’s violence erupted after police moved into several locations around the city to detain and remove protesters who have been camped out for weeks to press for Ms. Yingluck’s resignation. The protesters want the formation of an unelected people’s council to implement reforms to end corruption and keep the Shinawatra family permanently out of politics.
Earlier on Tuesday, 144 protesters near the Energy Ministry in the northern part of the city were peacefully detained and herded onto police trucks to be taken away for questioning, Mr. Tharit said.
Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt told The Associated Press the protesters hijacked two of the city’s public buses and used them to block a rally site at the Interior Ministry near the Grand Palace.