Riot police detain anti-government protester during protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP

BANGKOK (AP) — Police in Thailand clashed with anti-government protesters for a second straight day on Wednesday, firing tear gas and rubber bullets and chasing down fleeing demonstrators in Bangkok, the capital.

Protesters initially confined themselves mostly to throwing paint at the police but after organizers called off the rally, a group gathered in the nearby Din Daeng area, firing slingshots and hurling firecrackers and small explosive devices called ping-pong bombs. They also set fire to a vehicle that burned fiercely beneath a nearby elevated roadway.

Erawan Medical Center reported eight police and one protester were injured in the clashes.

The demonstrators had planned to march to the residence of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to demand his resignation amid a severe coronavirus outbreak that has exposed the government to accusations of complacency, corruption and incompetence, charges it denies.

Anti-government protester display the three-finger symbol of resistance in front of burning police truck during protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP

There were similar protests on Tuesday and Saturday in the same area.

Though the demonstrations have focused on the current COVID-19 crisis, they are part of a wider push for sweeping political change that includes Prayuth’s resignation, a new constitution and -– most contentious of all -– fundamental reform of the powerful but opaque monarchy.

The rallies fell away due to legal action by the authorities, infighting among protest groups and the coronavirus resurgence, but resumed recently as organizers capitalized on growing public discontent over the state of the country.

Riot police launch tear gas to anti-government protesters during a protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP
Anti-government protester throw tires into a burning police truck during protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP
Riot police hold shields as they try to detain anti-government protesters during protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP
Anti-government protester has his eyes rinsed with water after tear gas was used during protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP
Riot police chase an anti-government protester during protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP
Riot police detain anti-government protester during protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP
Anti-government protester uses a sling during clashes with riot police during protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP
Anti-government protester throws back a tear gas canister to riot police, during protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP
Anti-government protesters throw rocks to riot police during protests in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP