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Pattaya Daily News

13 April 2009 :: 10:04:46 am 27449

Dozens Injured in Clashes in Bangkok

Dozens of people have been wounded in Bangkok after troops open fired against government protesters blocking Din Daeng, a major road junction in the north of the city. An army spokesman has said that troops shot back after they were fired upon by some of the demonstrators. Protesters had remained on the streets overnight in defiance of a state of emergency declared by the government.
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Bangkok- at 9.00 am, on 13 April 2009, Weng Tohjirakarn, one of the protester leaders, has announced on the main stage that he went to visit the injured at Ramatibbordee Hospital. He said 26 were injured in all, with 19 remaining in hospital. He said the doctor did not allow him to take any bullets out of the hospital. At the same time at the hospital, Dr. Surasak, chief of medical staff, told the media that there were no gunshot injuries .

Mr. Weng in turn claims he saw CT scans of the victims which clearly indicated bullet wounds.Another doctor speaking on condition of anonymity said two of the protesters taken to hospital were suffering from gunshot wounds after troops opened fire.

The gunfire began at about 4:30 a.m. on Monday (2130 GMT Sunday) and Army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said about 300 protesters were involved in the clash. According to Sansern, the “red-shirts” drove a seized bus to rush to the soldiers before soldiers tried in vain to persuade them to stop. The military later fired to the sky and used teargas to disperse the protesters, he said.

At the time of writing [ 9.30 am.]  there is a now a tense stand-off between the military and the protesters, with each side waiting to see what the other intends to do next.

Former premier, Thaksin, who has been making nightly phone calls to his supporters from exile, said earlier on Sunday it was now the ‘golden time’ to rise up against the government. He repeated his call for a ‘people’s revolution’ and said he was ready to move back to Thailand to lead a people’s uprising if there was a coup.

However Mr Abhisit later appeared on television to dispel any talk of a possible military coup. ‘I can confirm that the government and security agencies are still unified. You can see all the heads of the armed forces meeting with me right now,’ he said. The camera panned to the commanders of the army, navy, air force and deputy police chief. He also called on the public not to panic and to cooperate with the government to end the crisis. He said ‘the military and the police are friends of the people. They do not want to use violence. They are simply enforcing law and order’.

Other events of the day unfolded as follows:

12.00 am Midnight, Prime Minister Apisit mad his TV announcement.

00.30 am, Protesters leader ,Natthawut, spent 30 minutes to assure the protesters that the government had no command over the army and the police. Apisit would not be able to meet people on the streets as Prime Minister on the first day of the water festival.

01.40 am, The Thailand student association requested Apisit to step down. If the government start to use the weapons on the people, they would get together to resist the government immediately.

04.34 am, Jatuporn Prompun announced on the stage at the government house where the protesters have their stronghold, that tear gas had been used at the Din Daeng Intersection. He told everybody to prepare themselves. A few minutes later, he requested the help of ambulances at Din Daeng as severa; people had been shot

04.48 am, Natthawut said this government would go down in Thai history as people killers. He asked everyone to try to take as many photos as they can.

05.10 am, Wiphoo Talang, a protester’s spokeman said the troops commander at Dindang was Major General Walit Rojjanapukdee and his team from Prajinburi, the same troops that Nevin Chidchob used in Pattaya. More than 30 people had been injured and sent to Ramatibbordee Hospital.

05.23 am, Nattawut brought M16 guncases and guns to show on the stage. He said the Apisit government were celebrating the Thai New Year with blood. He also said that when tear gas was used on the PAD last year Abisit was one of the first to condemn the government. This was a clear show of double standards.

05.27 am, the government started to clean up the Dindang intersection and Suthisan area.

05.40 am, Worawut Wichaidit, a protest leader, had brought some clothes of the dead victims back to show on the stage. He said the dead bodies had been collected by officials.

05.44 am, Manit Jitjunglub, an MP, had announced and begged the MPs of the different parties in the government to quit and leave the government [Democrat party] , otherwise they would be considered to be part of a criminal government.

05.55 am, an army spokeman said on the TV that the army did not use weapons on the demonstrators. However one hospital announced there were more than 10 people injured in the hospital.

06.07 am, Jatuporn announced at least 4 people died at the Din Daeng Intersection. Claims were made that all Thai TV channels and the main media were censoring their coverage and only showed pictures of the demonstrators in a bad light.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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