Warrants out for 33 suspects in Phuket riot

Warrants out for 33 suspects in Phuket riot

The wreckage of a car in front of Thalang police station a day after the Oct 10 riot. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
The wreckage of a car in front of Thalang police station a day after the Oct 10 riot. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The Phuket court has approved arrest warrants for 33 suspects on charges of instigating unrest and burning and destroying state assets during a riot at Thalang police station late on Saturday.

The warrants, sought by Phuket police chief Pol Maj Gen Patchara Boonyasit, were based on snapshots and video clips taken by police during the unrest, as well as footage from closed-circuit cameras and testimony of eye witnesses.

Most of the suspects are young men, who allegedly tried to destroy the police station, torched cars and hurt police officers.

Deputy police chief Pol Gen Chalermkiat Srivorakarn will go to the police station on Friday afternoon to follow up on the progress of the case and give aid to the injured officers.

On Saturday night, a group of angry people gathered in front the police station after police pursued two young men on a motorcycle who fled when asked to stop for a search at a checkpoint. A police pickup truck and the men's motorcycle later clashed, causing the men on the motorcycle to fall down and later died.

Dissatisfied with the police's explanations about the incident, the crowd tried to break into the police station and set fire to vehicles in front.

Police later asked soldiers for help and issued an order transferring four police officers from the station. The commander of the 41st Military Circle promised a talk would be held to next day to sort out the differences.

Fifteen police officers were slightly injured. Nine vehicles, most of which belonged to police, ended up being burned.

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