Pattaya Daily News

11 April 2010 :: 13:04:28 pm 17968

19 dead, over 800 injured in Bangkok’s bloody clashes

At least 18 people are now known to have died in clashes between Thai troops and opposition supporters in Bangkok, and more than 800 were hurt.
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BANGKOK, April 11 (TNA) – The death toll in Saturday’s clashes between government troops and anti-government protesters officially reached 19 on Sunday, with some 825 persons listed as injured, according to the Bangkok Emergency Medical Service (the Erawan Centre).

The 19 deaths include 14 civilians, four soldiers and one unidentified victim. Among the dead is Hiroyuki Muramoto, a Japanese cameraman working for Thomson Reuters news agency.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva expressed deep sorrow to the families of victims of the clashes Saturday night, saying autopsies and investigations will be conducted to confirm the causes of death. In an address to the nation broadcast live on a national television shortly before midnight, the prime minister vowed to stay on to restore order. “The government and I are still responsible for easing the situation and trying to bring peace and order to the country,” Mr Abhisit affirmed.

Many losses of life occurred at Khok Wua intersection on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, site of the nation’s Democracy Monument, and some soldiers were killed as M-79 grenades were used during the clash, he said. The United States expressed deep regret over the violence on the streets of Bangkok and the loss of life in the political protests, the State Department said. “We call on the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) and the Thai security forces to show restraint going forward,” spokesman P.J. Crowley was quoted as saying by the Agence France Presse news agency.

As the Red Shirt protests continue at the capital’s commercial heart at Ratchaprasong adjacent to the Erawan Shrine, Red Shirt leaders told the protesters to prepare anti-tear gas equipment, charging that security forces may try to disperse them. The city’s MRT subway system was operating as usual on Sunday, but Silom station was closed due to increasing number of Red Shirt protesters at the King Rama VI monument in Lumpini Park, not far from Ratchaprasong intersection. Meanwhile, the BTS Skytrain elevated train service resumed Sunday except for Chidlom station near the Ratchaprasong protest site.

Not far from the Ratchadamnoen Road Khok Wua intersection, Surat Wongcharnsil, chairman of the Khao San Road trade association announced cancellation of the Thai traditional New Year, the Songkran water splashing festival in the backpacker area in an historic quarter of the capital after Saturday night’s casualties, and losses including smashed shops.

The atmosphere on Khao San road is sluggish Sunday as many tourists have checked out and shops are closed. He estimated losses at least Bt 500 million during this Songkran period, as Khao San Road is normally crowded with locals and tourists. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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