Rioters vandalize cars, attack police officers in retaliation for teen deaths

From the Phuket News:

PHUKET: Half a dozen police officers have been treated for injuries while a total of 21 vehicles were vandalized by angry rioters last night who had encircled the Thalang Police Station in retaliation for the death of two teenagers yesterday.

Rioters vandalize cars, attack police officers in retaliation for teen deaths

The protest and ensuing riot follows a police chase that ended in the death of two teens midday on Saturday.

As the protest began to gain momentum yesterday afternoon, both the Phuket governor and police chief were dispatched to the scene in hopes of quelling the escalating situation. (story here)

But their efforts were to no avail as the crowd and tensions only grew into the night.

By 7pm, the road in front of the police station was closed The Phuket News’ breaking news corespondent was trapped on the third floor of the police station with other officers as an angry mob outside proceded to vandalize the police station and police vehicles parked outside.

Rioters broke windows, threw bottles, bricks, rocks, and scorched vehicles using molotov cocktails and fireworks.

By 8.41pm, the mob threatened to burn down the police station, as police called for backup.

In the proceding chaos, windows were broken, and a total of 21 cars were damaged, including nine police cars that had been completely scorched.

Meanwhile, teens reportedly were speeding back and forth on motorbikes, revving their engines loudly.

After midnight, dozens of rioters reportedly attacked a dozen unarmed traffic police who were monitoring the situation near Makro Thalang. From this incident, it is understood that four officers were treated for wounds at Thalang Hospital.

The crowd finally began to disperse by about 3.30am this morning after a team of about 7 negotiaters from 41 Army Circle in Nakhon Si Thammarat arrived to the scene.

The Phuket News understands that the protesters and rioters agreed to disperse under the understanding that if they did not, a much larger force from Nakhon Si Thammarat would be dispatched.

But as the protesters were dispersing, more officers were attacked about 300 meters from the police station, at the Ban Kien junction near Thalang junction.

According to eyewitnesses, someone from the crowd yelled out that officers were attacking residents at the traffic junction, but as a crowd mobilized to the junction, they only found police officers attempting to flee.

As a result of the incident, two more officers were transported to Thalang Hospital and treated for minor injuries, The Phuket News has learned.

Meanwhile, an emergency meeting between police, army and villagers is scheduled at Thalang’s Ban Don sub district at 9am this morning.

At Phuket airport no flights were delayed or canceled but dozens of passengers were reported to have checked in late or declared “No Show” by airlines.