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BANGKOK — A bomb killed two people and wounded at least 22 in a busy shopping district of the Thai capital on Sunday, hours after supporters of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra promised to get tough with demonstrators paralyzing parts of the city.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible.

The bomb exploded near one of the few large protest sites remaining, leaving a trail of blood and sandals on the streets of the popular Rachaprasong shopping area, much of it in front of a store selling T-shirts emblazoned "Land of Smile."

Three children suffered serious head injuries, Erawan Medical Center, which monitors hospitals, said. One died.

"One boy who we understand was 12 years old has died from injuries sustained in the blast. Another child is undergoing an operation and a third child is still in the emergency room with us," a nurse at Ramathibodi Hospital in central Bangkok, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

Erawan said a 40-year-old woman was also killed.

The protests are the latest chapter in a political conflict that has gripped Thailand for eight years and broadly pits Bangkok's middle class and elite, and followers in the south, against rural backers of Yingluck and her brother.

Four protesters and a police officer were killed on Tuesday when police attempted to reclaim protest sites near government buildings. Six people were wounded by a grenade on Friday.

Presenting a further headache for Yingluck, Thailand's anti-corruption body filed charges against her last week over a rice subsidy scheme that has left hundreds of farmers, her natural backers, unpaid.

Yingluck is due to hear the charges on Thursday.

— Reuters
Thai soldiers inspect the site of a bomb blast near an anti-government rally in Bangkok on Feb. 23, 2014.PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL / AFP - Getty Images