March 26, 2006

Bomb found, defused at Thai opposition HQ

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A small time bomb containing TNT was
found and defused at the headquarters of the Thai opposition
Democrat Party headquarters on Monday, forcing the evacuation
of the building, party officials said.

The bomb, the size of a box of tissues, was found by a
cleaner three hours before it was timed to explode at 10 a.m.
(0300 GMT) in the compound of the building and a police bomb
squad defused it, senior party official Satit Wongnontaey said.

"The cleaner suspected the box wrapped in green tape and
called the police," Satit told Reuters.

About 50 people working in the building were evacuated
while police were defusing it, he said.

There was no immediate word on who might have planted the
bomb, the latest of several small explosive devices which have
helped keep tension high during a national political crisis.

Police have said on several occasions they believe a "third
party" may be trying to foment violence ahead of a snap
election called by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra for April

The Democrats and the two other main opposition parties are
boycotting the election and street campaigners are trying to
oust Thaksin, whom they accuse of corruption and abuse of

However, there has been no violence and previous small
bombs have caused no casualties.