Pattaya Daily News

15 April 2010 :: 14:04:10 pm 18236

Number of fatalities rises to 24; Protesters vow to stay at Ratchaprasong

BANGKOK, April 15 (TNA) -- Twenty-four fatalities have been registered so far while 216 other casualties continue to receive treatment at 15 hospitals in the Thai capital following last Saturday’s bloody violence between combined government forces and ani-government protesters, according to the latest statistics issued by the Erawan Medical Centre on Thursday.
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The authorities said the 24th fatality was a 49-year-old civilian who was shot in the head during the clash and died later at Chulalongkorn Hospital, a government facility.

Saturday’s bloody violence took place on Ratchadamnoen Avenue between supporters of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) and combined government forces.

UDD protesters, however, on Wednesday vacated the Phan Fa Bridge area and regrouped with their compatriats to occupy Ratchaprasong intersection in front of the capital’s respected Erewan Shrine, in the heart of Bangkok’s prime retail business area.

By early Thursday, troops from the First Army Region, responsible for security in Bangkok and central provinces, inspected a large quantity of weapons and ammunition either seized by protesters or abandoned by the soldiers themselves during the clashes and turned over to police before the protesters left the area.

A team of divers was also seen searching for weapons in a canal not far from the scene of clashes after some UDD protesters claimed that they saw soldiers dump them after the violence ended.

Traffic along Ratchadamnoen Avenue is expected to return to normal Thursday evening as sweepers of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration moved in to clean the road as well as dismantle tents erected earlier by UDD protesters.

Key UDD protesters have vowed they would stay at Ratchaprasong intersection to continue pressuring Mr. Abhisit to take responsibility on last Saturday’s clashes and to also dissolve the House.

They said they would ask families of civilian victims to seek new autopsies Thursday.

Meanwhile, Bangkok police admitted that traffic around Ratchaprasong intersection and nearby areas would become heavily congested as more protesters are now occupying the area where several malls, entertainment complexes and five-star hotels are situated.

Police plan to ask the protesters to open one lane on the road so that vehicles can pass through.

UDD leaders plan no new moves Thursday as they want the protesters to relax during the Thailand’s traditional New Year which officially ends then.

They are also waiting for protesters who returned home to celebrate Songkran festival to come back to join the rally. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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