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Govt rejects Thai news report

THE government has condemned comments allegedly made on a Thai television news programme asserting that a Cambodian rocket propelled grenade might have been used in three explosions in Bangkok on Saturday during protests against Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Tith Sothea, a member of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers, on Monday dismissed the comments, which he said suggested that a B-41 rocket-propelled grenade imported from Cambodia had been used in the weekend attacks.

“The information is completely exaggerated, and it might worsen the relationship between Cambodia and Thailand, who are currently involved in a dispute along the border,” he said, adding that the news report had been “unacceptable”.

He said the suggestion had been made by a commentator on Thai TV 3 at around 5am Monday, but government officials were unable to provide the name of either the programme or the commentator.

Tith Sothea suggested that the Thai government was behind the comments, despite the fact that Thai TV 3 is an independent network.

“The Abhisit government always uses the media to exaggerate information and link Thailand’s [domestic] issues with Cambodia,” he said.

However, Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said Monday that the government had not “made any conclusions” about the explosions and was not responsible for comments aired on independent media outlets.

“We haven’t made any conclusions yet. We are still investigating, and there have been no links like this made by the government,” he said.

Potchanee Potchanakorn, an international news reporter from Thai TV3’s news department, said Monday that she was unable to find any comments from the station’s morning news broadcasts that mentioned Cambodia at all. “So far, I have checked with the news reports from between [5am and 6am], and no one mentioned anything about Cambodia,” she said.

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