New violence triggers new warnings to avoid Bangkok

Hotel News - 20/05/2010

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A major increase in political violence in Bangkok has triggered an upgrade in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)’s warning to British nationals. The FCO now says people should avoid all travel to Thailand’s capital city. Previously, the FCO had only warned against non-essential travel to Bangkok.

Travellers transiting through Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport are not affected. The FCO also warns against any non-essential travel to Chiang Mai, in the north. Sporadic violence has also been reported in the cities of Khon Kaen and Udon Thani, in Thailand’s northeast. Travellers should carry passports or other forms of identification, plus any tickets for travel, to show officials if they are stopped at security checkpoints.

The latest wave of violence comes amidst increasing tensions, after ‘Red-Shirt’ protesters were finally cleared from the site in a key central Bangkok commercial district they have occupied for many weeks. Troops, backed by armoured personnel carriers, moved into the southern end of the heavily-barricaded rally site early Wednesday morning.

In the ensuing violence, some protesters looted and burned key retail developments. Operations to secure key parts of Bangkok from angry protest hold-outs continue. Because of security concerns, the British Embassy in Bangkok has closed. Limited consular services are being provided via an alternative location. Those in Thailand can call 02 305 8333 for more information.

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