And ...Thai emergency services and the health ministry said Friday that one person was killed in grenade blasts that hit Bangkok’s business district. A Thai deputy prime minister put the death toll at three shortly after the five explosions which hit late Thursday, tearing through a pro-government crowd facing off against “Red Shirts” anti-government campaigners. The Bangkok Emergency Medical Service said however that a 26-year-old Thai woman was the only confirmed fatality, and that 85 were injured included three foreigners from Australia, Indonesia and the United States. “As of now we can confirm that one person is dead. We cannot find the other two people reported dead, after checking with hospitals,” an official at the centre told AFP. The public health ministry also said that one person was killed but put the number of injured at 78. It said that four foreigners were among those hurt, including one Japanese.
Also ...Hotel occupancy in Bangkok has crumbled to 20 percent, tourism operators say, down from about 80 percent in February, squeezing an industry that supports six percent of the economy. "We will have to revise the growth rate again, expecially after this month and last month, as we can see that the protests have had a big impact on tourism," Abhisit said in his weekly television broadcast. He said the government would have to revise down its forecasts of 4.5 percent economic growth this year.
Hundreds of Thai riot police confronted anti-government protesters at a barricade in Bangkok's business district on Friday, a day after grenade attacks in the area killed three people, but later pulled back without violence. Police demanded that the "red shirts" dismantle the barrier, Thai television said, but the protesters made no move to do so. A Reuters photographer said red shirts poured fuel on the barricade, made up largely of tires. The police later pulled back and the protesters also withdrew to the camp they have set up behind the barrier on the edge of the Silom business district.