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Violence Worsens in Bangkok, Thailand: Western Governments Issue New Travel Warnings

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Violence Worses in Bangkok, Thailand The American, British and Australian Embassies are advising their citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Bangkok after a series of grenade attacks in the city’s main financial district killed one person and injured 87 people, including at least four foreigners.

The American Embassy advised citizens to skip “nonessential travel to Bangkok,” adding that the possibility of more attacks could not be ruled out.

In a statement released Thursday, the Embassy told citizens to exercise caution and be vigilant if they must travel to areas around the Thai demonstrations.

The American Embassy has also advised its personnel in affected parts of Bangkok to remain at home.

The travel warning is an escalation of an earlier alert issued by 43 countries last week. Previously, foreign governments had warned travelers about the possibility of violence and the uncertainty of the political situation in Thailand.

Bangkok's Floating Markets Likely to See Fewer TouristsLast night’s explosions has changed that assessment, since many governments are now judging the situation in Thailand as completely unpredictable.

In a statement released this morning, the British Embassy stated that it was becoming difficult to predict where and when violence would take place, so their only recourse was to try to keep citizens out of Bangkok.

According to Thai officials, at least five grenades exploded last night on Silom Road, one of Bangkok’s busiest streets.

The grenades were allegedly shot from a park occupied by opposition protesters known as Red Shirts. One grenade was launched into a crowd near a hotel, while another blast hit the headquarters of Bangkok bank PCL. Many of the people injured were bystanders unaffiliated with the Thai government or its Red Shirt opponents.

Though travel warnings are limited to the capital, American travelers and expatriates living in Thailand are advised to be cautious and avoid demonstrations.

By Adriana Padilla for PeterGreenberg.com.

Related links: New York Times, US Embassy, San Francisco Chronicle

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