Neighbour Briefs

Bomb at Thai court

BANGKOK: Thai police said they had defused a bomb near the Supreme Court on Sunday, while a grenade exploded near government offices, ahead of a ruling this month on ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s fortune. Neither incident in central Bangkok caused casualties. But they occurred despite the deployment of at least 20,000 extra security personnel around Thailand ahead of the February 26 court verdict on ex-premier Thaksin, who lives in exile. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who has faced mass protests from Thaksin supporters since coming to power in December 2008, accused anti-government elements of trying to stir up trouble. “The motive is to cause turmoil. I am not swayed by this psychological warfare,” Abhisit told reporters.

B’desh executions

DHAKA: Bangladesh has executed more than 400 people since the country became independent in 1971, an official said on Sunday, and more than 1,000 others are currently sitting on death row. The authorities last month hanged five army officers convicted of killing the country’s independence leader, taking the number of executions since 1971 to 411, deputy prisons chief Golam Haider said. At least 36 women have been sentenced to death but none went to the gallows, another prison official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Those hanged were all men,” the official said, adding that at least 1,020 convicts were currently on death row.