Thailand’s pro-democracy protesters clashed with a royalist group dressed in yellow on Tuesday in front of Parliament and police blasted demonstrators with water cannon and fired tear gas to break them up.
Protesters are demanding changes to the constitution drawn up by Thailand’s former military government. They also want the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former army general, and reforms to curb the powers of the powerful monarchy.
Police sprayed water cannon at demonstrators who tried to cut their way through razor-wire barricades. Then they fired tear gas at the hundreds of demonstrators.
Ambulances ferried the injured to a hospital. Bangkok’s Erawan Medical Center said five people were hospitalised while others were treated at the scene.
“This is brutal,” said a 31-year-old volunteer with the FreeYouth protest group who gave his name as Oh. The group posted pictures of riot police on Twitter with the caption “Dictator’s lackeys!”
Police declared that protests were banned within 50 metres of the parliament area.
“Protesters tried to break through the barricades to enter the restricted area,” police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen told reporters.