Thai government clash with red shirt
On Friday Thai police and army units moved in to surround and cut off the protesters main camp, meeting heavy resistance from the red shirts resulting in the deaths of two people with dozens more injured.
Thai Army Major-General Khattiya Sawasdipol who has defected from the government forces and has been advising the Red Shirts on security and defence matters was hit in the head by a sniper’s bullet and is reportedly in a critical condition in hospital.
One of the Red Shirt leaders, Nattawut Saikuar, accuses the Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of starting a civil war. This comes as there are reports of a policeman opening fire on soldiers near a police station in Bangkok, showing that there may be divisions within the security services themselves. Both the British and American embassies in Bangkok confirm they are to close for security reasons.
Just before 3:00 pm GMT on 14 May, Sky News reported that the deathtoll from the latest fighting had risen to five, with 46 others wounded. People there claim that the area has descended into a war zone as the two sides battle for control.
During the clashes, France 24 journalist Nelson Rand was “gravely wounded” by bullets from a Thai Army assault rifle, although who actually used the weapon is still unknown. On Friday night, several grenade explosions were heard from a nearby shopping centre and municipal railway station in the upscale shopping area. As of 6:00 pm May 10, the BBC reports that 7 people have died and over 100 wounded in the latest violence in Bangkok, just as Canada announces temporary closure of its embassy.
According to The Telegraph, as of 9:40 pm GMT 14 May, at least 16 people have now been killed, none of whom are members of the security services. There have been several incidents of police officers joining with the red shirts and exchanging fire with the Thai Army, prompting fears that a civil war is coming. The number of injured is thought to be 157, with that number predicted to rise significantly as fighting continues.
By 2:20 am GMT on 15 May, the death toll has reached 16, with more than 157 injured. Fighting continues with no end in sight. Total casualties since 12 May amount to 24 killed, with 187 injured on the night of 14/15 May alone.
Protest leaders once again warn of civil war if the army attempts to storm their camp. Several areas of the city near the protestors have been designated as live fire zones by the military and protestors entering these zones will be shot on sight. Due to food and water shortages as a result of the army blockade, it is estimated the protestors will only be able to hold out for a few more days.