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Published on Tuesday, April 14, 2009

UK travellers warned over travel to ‘volatile’ Bangkok




The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has warned against all but essential travel to Bangkok following violent clashes which has now left at least two dead and 100 people injured.

Britons should also review plans to travel to other parts of Thailand, the FCO advised. Travellers already in Bangkok and other cities affected by violence are being advised to stay indoors and to monitor the media and travel advice.

A state of emergency has been in force in Bangkok and the surrounding provinces of Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Pathumthani, Nakhon Prathom and Ayudhaya since Sunday.

Armoured vehicles are deployed in the capital and security forces are attempting to clear the streets, the FCO said.

The FCO described the situation as “volatile and unpredictable with a high risk of further bloodshed”.

Thailand attracts more than 800,000 British visitors a year,

The latest advice said: “In view of the risk of a further deterioration, British citizens are warned not to travel to Bangkok unless their visit is absolutely essential and to review their travel plans to other parts of Thailand.

“British residents in Bangkok and other cities affected by the violence are advised to stay indoors and to monitor the media and this travel advice,” the latest FCO advice said.

“Several violent clashes have occurred between red-shirted supporters of ex-Prime Minister Thaksin and military and police units in central Bangkok and the seaside resort of Pattaya.

“During the early hours of 13 April, troops used tear gas and fired warning shots at one group of protestors who returned fire. There are reports of some 60-70 injuries.

“Some shops are closed and red-shirted protestors have blocked several road junctions with makeshift barricades and tanker trucks. This is making travel in some parts of Bangkok difficult.

“The Lao/Thai border crossing in Nong Chai is closed and there are reports of road blocks in Chiang Mai and Lampang in northern Thailand.

“Red-shirt leaders have threatened major protests in 50 cities throughout Thailand in the next few days.”

The main Bangkok railway station is closed. However the international airport and the main access road to it remain open, the FO added.

Transit through Bangkok airport has so far been unaffected. Foreigners have not been targeted by the protestors and there are no reports of British citizens being caught up directly in the violence.

 
*See separate eyewitness account.


by Phil Davies

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  • Details

    Please get your details right. The FCO has warned against all but essential travel to BANGKOK not to THAILAND in general.

    By Philip Hodges, Tuesday, April 14, 2009

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