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'I wish I could forgive them'

It is extremely traumatic for a father to lose not one, but two of his children within hours.

Yet while Mr Tanakorn Yosubol is prepared to forgive those who were behind his kids' deaths, he does not know who they are.

His two children were killed after a grenade exploded near the Ratchaprasong rally site in Bangkok late on Sunday afternoon, Bangkok Post reported.

His daughter, six-year-old Pajarakorn Yosubol, or Nong Cake, died on Monday from brain injuries and a ruptured liver.

Her younger brother, four-year-old Koravit, or Nong Ken, died shortly after the blast due to severe brain injuries and internal bleeding.

Mr Tanakorn said he hopes his family's loss will be the last tragedy of the political violence which has paralysed the Thai capital for months.

And even as he goes through the darkest period of his life, the father wants to forgive.

Said Mr Tanakorn: "'I wish I could say 'You are forgiven' to the people behind it, but I don't know who they are."

He told another Bangkok daily The Nation that he had a simple dream for his children - for them to grow up and become good members of society.

"But now my dream is dead," he said as he hugged his wife while waiting to pick up their children's bodies.

VISITED MALL

Reports said that the two children were not involved in the protest. They had just finished visiting CentralWorld shopping mall when the grenade exploded.

According to Ms Nareerat Chaabram, 33, an aunt who took Nong Cake, Nong Ken and her nine-year-old son, Yothin, to the shopping mall, they had finished a meal at KFC and were about to go home.

The children were already in a tuk-tuk (auto-rickshaw) and Ms Nareerat was about to board it when the blast occurred.

Yothin was also critically wounded in the blast. His brain is swollen and he remains unconscious. Ms Nareerat was also injured, but her injuries are not serious.

She said she wished she had been hit instead of the children.

"Better me than my nephew, niece and son," The Nation quoted the distraught mother, who was in a wheelchair, as saying.

"I wish it was just a bad dream," she lamented.

Thailand risks civil war

Thailand risks sliding into civil war after a wave of political violence that has claimed 21 lives, warned top security and army officials yesterday.

More than 700 people have been wounded since anti-government rallies began more than three months ago. Demonstrators have been out on the streets in a bid to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and end the political dominance of her family.

Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdith urged "restraint and patience" on both sides of the political divide, AFP reported. A similar warning came from the head of the army.

General Prayut Chan-O-Cha told AFP: "There will be civil war if all sides do not respect rules.

"The military will do everything for the country and the people...not for a particular side."

Government supporters have accused opposition demonstrators of trying to incite the military to seize power, but the army has remained above the fray.