Thai army says grenades missing

BANGKOK, Sept 20, 2010 (AFP) - About 30 rocket-propelled grenades have gone missing from a military base in Thailand, officials said Monday, raising fears of fresh violence.

Army chief Anupong Paojinda said a forensic investigation was underway to try to find those responsible for the disappearance of the weapons at the base in central Lopburi province this month.

A series of grenade blasts have hit Bangkok in recent weeks, as the capital remains under emergency rule following mass "Red Shirt" protests in April and May that left 91 people dead in clashes between troops and demonstrators.

Red Shirt anti-government protesters shout slogans during a protest in Chiang Mai province on September 19, 2010. AFP

fficials said it was unclear whether the apparent theft of the grenades was linked to the unrest.

The Reds -- who held peaceful gatherings Sunday to mark the anniversary of the 2006 coup that ousted their hero Thaksin Shinawatra as premier -- deny any involvement in the grenade blasts.

Thai authorities are also struggling to quell a six-year insurgency in the country's Muslim-majority southern provinces.

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