Sunday, April 11, 2010

Military crackdown on protesters in Bangkok


I put up a new post on this blog about situation in tourist district.

For links to various live-bloggers, see this post.

01:00 Bangkok, 14:00 NYC
Al Jazeera television report: footage from this afternoon showed Red shirts managing  to push protesters back.  It showed gunfire as military retreats from red's base near UN building.    Reporter says tonight the area around Democracy monument is peaceful.  But this afternoon, Military had been waiting in an off street near democracy monument, and the reds were confronting them. Shots were fired, reds claim evidence of live ammunition.

There are reports that governor's headquarters in Chang Mai had been taken over by red shirts.   Uneasy calm tonight.  Red shirt leaders calling on PM to leave the country.  Some soldiers may be siding with red shirts, persistent rumors of a military coup.

00:30 Bangkok,13:30 NY
A Thai Television station is reporting 21 killed in Bangkok as troops crackdown on protesters. Erawan medical center is reporting 11 killed and 676 injured.

Jotman comment:  As tragic as the events of April 10 have been, we must hope that the Red Shirts do not seek retaliation, whether in Bangkok or elsewhere in the country.

00:10 Bangkok,13:10 NYC
Bangkok Pundit who has been live-blogging the protests today, provides "a summary of Thai PM Abhisit's press statement about 45 minutes ago":
I am sorry to hear on the deaths of the people who died tonight. I have said from the beginning that as long as protests were within the law that we were happy to talk. However, when beyond the law, we have to uphold the law. There have been many instances of sabotage over the past few weeks. Then, what happened on Friday [the reds going to restore the satelite link for PTV] affected key institutions of the state which effected not only the government but also of the state as a whole. Therefore, because of this, we needed to take action to obtain the return of some protest areas.
From this afternoon, you will be able to see that the protesters had weapons too in particular the M79 which caused deaths. The real bullets used by the authorities was only used for shooting up in the air or in in self-defence. When we know of the deaths, the army withdrew. We will have an investigation  what happened on how people died.
23:27 Bangkok, 12:27 NYC
Reuters announced that one of its cameramen, Hiro Muramoto, was killed.  The same report indicates,
At least 521 people, including 64 soldiers and police, were wounded in the fighting near the Phan Fah bridge and Rajchadamnoen Road in Bangkok's old quarter, a protest base near government buildings and the regional U.N. headquarters. 
Four civilians and four soldiers were killed, Deputy Governor of Bangkok Malinee Sukavrejworakit said. She did not give details. Hundreds of protesters went to Klang Hospital near the last and most violent clash to seek details on casualties. 
22:30 Bangkok, 11:30 NYC
From BKKapologist on twitter (via NM's read-live blog of the situation): “Just got back from Ploen Chit. Reds “chased out” riot cops, who appeared sympathetic. Lots of cops high-fiving and waving foot clappers.”

21:30 Bangkok,10:30 NYC
The Nation  reported
Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the spokesman of the Emergency Operations Command, confirmed that Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban Saturday ordered the crackdowns on protesters....

Sansern said 234 companies of troops were deployed to carry out the operation to break up the demonstration.   Sansern said the crackdown was necessary as protesters would not obey the emergency decree, which prohibited demonstrations.

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