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Thailand Protesters Make 'Blood Painting'

Thai demonstrators used blood to paint poems, pictures, political statements in another protest against PM's refusal to dissolve parliament, hold new elections

Demonstrators in Thailand used their blood to paint poems, pictures and political statements Sunday, in another protest against the prime minister's refusal to dissolve parliament and hold new elections.

The "blood painting" is the so-called "Red Shirts" latest anti-government protest. Thousands of demonstrators donated blood that was earlier spilled outside government offices and the prime minister's home.

Artists used the demonstrators' remaining blood to create a massive work of art on a giant, white canvas in the capital, Bangkok.

Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Sunday he will send representatives to hold talks with the protesters who have called for his ouster, but the "Red Shirts" say they want to speak directly with him.

Mr. Abhisit, who has the support of Thailand's royalists and urban elite, is refusing to call new elections. He said the government will listen to the "Red Shirts" but dissolving parliament was not an option.

The "Red Shirts" showed strength in numbers Saturday as tens of thousands of protesters rolled through Bangkok in trucks, cars, buses and on motorcycles to recruit supporters for their campaign against the government.

Police said explosions near two government buildings injured one person late Saturday. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Many of the protesters are from poor, rural Thailand and support former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He was ousted by a 2006 military coup because of alleged corruption.

Pro-democracy activists who oppose the army's role in government also have joined the rallies.

They say the Abhisit government came to power illegitimately with the military's support, after court rulings dismissed two Thaksin-allied governments.

Mr. Thaksin is living in self-imposed exile, avoiding a two-year prison sentence for graft in Thailand.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.