Thai anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has declared that the operation to paralyse Bangkok, which began on January 13, will end on March 3.

Addressing protesters on February 28, Suthep said that demonstrators will withdraw from all rally sites in the city except the one at Lumpini Park, thus ending the so-called ‘Bangkok Shutdown’ operation. However, he confirmed they will continue to close down government offices and businesses belonging to the Shinawatra family.

He also apologised to people in Bangkok for the inconvenience brought by the operation.

The shutdown operation, during which a number of government offices and major intersections were besieged, aimed to put pressure on caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down. However, she has repeatedly and categorically rejected the request.

A string of shootings and explosions at protest sites over the past days have resulted in the death of 23 people, including four children, as well as injuries to hundreds.

Also on February 28, US Secretary of State John Kerry called for an investigation into the attacks in Thailand, saying that the death of several innocent children is horrifying.

He urged all sides to dialogue in the spirit of seeking common ground to address differences in a peaceful and democratic way.-VNA