Australian Embassy says possible terrorist attacks during Thailand election could make Bangkok dangerous
Forty three countries have already warned their citizens about possible violence in Bangkok, Thailand during anti-government protests and particularly today, February 2nd, the day of Thailand’s general election. Now the Australia Embassy is warning Australian citizens about possible ‘terrorist attacks’ during Thailand’s election, and advising them to stay away from protest areas and polling stations if they must be in the city during the Thai election.
The statement on the Australian Embassy’s website in Bangkok says:
“We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand due to the possibility of civil unrest and the threat of terrorist attack. You should pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks”.
They go on to say:
“Recent violence has featured the use of hand-grenades against protestors, including attacks during the day in busy public areas around protest sites in central Bangkok and when protestors have been moving around the city. A number of shootings and attacks using hand-grenades and other explosive devices have been reported around protest locations in Bangkok. Since 30 November 2013, incidents associated with the protests have resulted in a number of deaths and hundreds of injuries. Further indiscriminate attacks are likely.”
With 10 deaths as a result of anti-government protests in Thailand so far, and more than 600 injuries, the Australian Embassy is right to warn the country’s citizens to be vigilant and to avoid protest areas. It remains to be seen whether the warning they have issued will remain at “Exercise extreme caution” or move up to their next level of security which is “Reconsider your need to travel”.
Only the events of February 2nd, Thailand’s general election day, and the days following will tell us for sure.
Until then, we join the Australian Embassy in asking all of our readers to avoid anti-government protest sites, but go one step further by stating we believe it’s in the safety interests of you our readers to avoid Bangkok completely, unless your travel here is vital, and visit other less volatile places in Thailand instead.
At least until the political situation becomes a little calmer.