Southern police on alert as protesters vow to continue rally

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NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, Sept 18 – Rubber farmers in this southern province have vowed to resume their protest this afternoon with the authorities on full alert and government buildings protected from possible attack.

National Police chief Adul Saengsingkaew said the protest site in Cha-uat district, Nakhon Si Thammarat, was under control but police were instructed to be especially cautious in light of a violent clash between police and demonstrators on Monday. More than 70 police were injured and 10 police vehicles were burnt.

He said police were collecting evidence in order to issue warrants for wrongdoers, adding warrants were earlier released for 19 suspects in the violence.

He said the authorities have yet to identify the photos of men in police uniforms who mingled with the protesters.

About 300 people who rallied at Kuan Nong Hong intersection, Cha-uat district, yesterday announced that they would resume their protest this afternoon.

Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo, National Police Bureau spokesman, said the protesters tried to strengthen their demonstration and create violence by burning government buildings and abducting senior provincial officials.