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May 28, 2017

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MOFA staying alert on protests in Thailand

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday continued to urge Taiwanese nationals intending to visit Thailand to be on high alert as anti-government protests in the country could imperil travelers.

MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安) said the ministry has formed an ad hoc task force to keep a close eye on new developments in the ongoing anti-government protests in Thailand, especially near its capital Bangkok.

She urged Taiwanese nationals not to visit crowded areas in Bangkok and to avoid wearing yellow or red shirts.

Over the past few months, there have been scuffles between pro-government "Red Shirt" supporters and "Yellow Shirt" anti-government demonstrators.

Although the anti-government protests have mostly been peaceful, assaults have been reported sporadically, including shootings at protest venues and small explosives hurled at the homes of prominent protest supporters, according to MOFA.

As major countries around the world have not yet heightened their travel advisory for Thailand, the MOFA said, it would maintain its "yellow" alert for Thailand for the time being.

Under MOFA's four-color coded travel advisory system, a "yellow" alert is the third highest level of warning. It urges people to reconsider traveling to the destination and to be aware of their safety while there.

Meanwhile, Kao said no Taiwanese nationals were injured or affected by the ongoing protests in Bangkok.

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