By Ria Novosti
At least 61 people have been injured at a mass opposition rally in downtown Bangkok on Saturday, local authorities said.
Ten police officers and 51 protesters have sought medical help. Two police officers have been hospitalized with serious injuries, the Thai health ministry’s emergency center said.
Anti-government protesters gathered in the Thai capital early Saturday to call for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s ouster. Police responded with tear gas, and more than 100 were arrested.
Opposition leader and retired General Boonlert Kaewprasit, who leads the royalist Pitak Siam group, accused the authorities on Saturday of brutality against the peaceful protesters.
Kaewprasit called off the rally at the Royal Plaza later on Saturday to “avoid bloodshed.”
Bangkok has been home in recent years to episodes of violent, politically motivated unrest.
The tension stems from a longstanding conflict between the supporters and opponents of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck’s older brother who was ousted in a 2006 military coup.
Yingluck became Thailand’s first female prime minister following national elections in 2011.