Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon on February 23 condemned armed attacks against protesters in Thailand ’s Bangkok capital city, calling for an immediate end to the escalating violence in the country.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Ban urged all sides to respect human rights and the country’s law as well as participate in “meaningful dialogue” towards ending the crisis and fostering renovation.

On the day, at least 16 people were injured in a blast at a shopping mall in Bangkok ’s Ratchaprasong shopping district where anti-government protesters were holding a rally.

The Erawan emergency centre said on its website that local police had sealed the area off to investigate the cause of the blast.

Earlier, two people, including a five-year-old girl, were killed, and 41 others wounded in the eastern Thai province of Trat , after assailants launched a shooting spree and grenade attack at an anti-government rally site.

This was one of the most violent attacks since anti-government protests began in late November last year, aiming to oust caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

On February 23, in a message posted on her Facebook wall, Yingluck declared that recent attacks in Bangkok are the act of terrorism for political goal.

Through the message, she extended her condolences to families of the victims and affirmed that her government will not tolerate terrorism and has ordered a full investigation to find the culprits and bring them to justice without exception.

The caretaker PM also called on all sides to seek peaceful solutions to the political conflict through the democratic process.-VNA