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Page last updated at 04:38 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Thai airport blast kills activist

An injured person is taken by medics from Bangkok's Don Mueang airport (2 December 2008)
Anti-government protesters at the airport were attacked on the weekend

A blast has killed at least one Thai anti-government protester and wounded 22 others at Bangkok's Don Mueang airport, emergency officials have said.

Local TV said a grenade had been fired at the domestic hub, which is occupied by the People's Alliance for Democracy.

The PAD has occupied Don Mueang and the capital's main airport since last week.

Meanwhile, a protest by pro-government activists has forced the constitutional court to move a final hearing on a case that could see the ruling party banned.

The hearing is now being held at Bangkok's administrative court.

The judges are set to decide whether Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat's People Power Party (PPP) and two of its coalition partners committed electoral fraud.

If they are found guilty, Mr Somchai could be banned from politics and many cabinet ministers could be forced to step down.

Shrapnel

Emergency services officials said the explosion at Don Mueang airport had occurred overnight, and killed a male PAD activist.

Channel 7 television said a grenade had been fired from a nearby flyover and hit a terminal window, spraying protesters with shrapnel.

A pool of blood at Bangkok's Don Mueang airport (2 December 2008
Officials told local TV that a grenade had been fired from a nearby flyover

The incident came just hours after the PAD ended a three-month protest at the prime minister's offices in central Bangkok.

The group's leaders had told them to move to the domestic hub and the main Suvarnabhumi International Airport for their own safety after a grenade attack at Government House injured at least 49 of them on Sunday.

The PAD also agreed on Monday to allow 88 aircraft stranded at Suvarnabhumi airport to leave, but without any passengers. The planes will move to other local airports to help evacuate travellers.

At least 100,000 foreign visitors have been unable to leave the country since the anti-government activists occupied the airport's main terminal last week.

Thousands of pro-government protesters also besieged Bangkok on Sunday in a counter-demonstration.

The PAD accuses Mr Somchai's government of being corrupt and hostile to the country's much-revered monarchy, and has demanded they resign. They also accuse him of being a proxy of his brother-in-law, exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

On Monday, the prime minister insisted he would not step down.

"I will not quit and I will not dissolve parliament," he told reporters in the northern city of Chiang Mai.

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