Friday, May 14, 2010

At least three journalists shot in Bangkok clashes

Presently, Florian Witulski, the journalist who was shot in the arm near Khao San Road on April 10, is "hiding behind a small wall" in downtown Bangkok. Around him tires are burning and soldiers are shooting. As time passes, "more and more explosions coming in, fired from Silom over the bridge" Florian tweets.  

So far today, at least three journalists are reported to have been shot in Bangkok.  By one account, two are Thai and at least one is foreign.

Dan Rivers tweeted that CNN has "incredible footage of western journalist lying wounded on wireless road."   I wonder if this could be the France 24 journalist who was shot in the leg.  Andrew Marshall tweeted, "Colleague in hot zone says wounded journalist works for France 24. Shot in leg and 'still on the ground. Ambulance can't extract.'" According to Adrees Latif of Reutersa "journalist... was standing between troops and protesters when he was shot. He had been holding a video camera. Blood was seen streaming from his hand when he was carried away by protesters."   (Adrees Latif happens to be the Pakistani photojournalist who won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2007 photo of Japanese photojournalist Kenji Nakai, killed during the Burma monks' protest in Rangoon) 

Marshall tweeted, "SMS from colleague on the scene: 'Three camera men shot. One foreign. Two local.'"   The Nation reports that a Matichon journalist was shot. 

There is another report circulating that "a foreign journalist was shot in the hand."   A tweet by Florian suggests this journalist is Canadian.

Andrew Marshall also tweets that soldiers recently fired on crowd gathered in a soi near Rama 4.  "The soldiers just opened up on everyone. Old people, women, ambulance crews."  At least 10 were injured, including a man shot in the back "who may not make it."    There were journalist eyewitness reports yesterday of Thai soldiers firing at an ambulance.  

Update 10:00pm BKK:   Four people are reported to have died on the streets of Bangkok Friday.

France 24 report on the shooting of its reporter:
Canadian-born Nelson Rand “was shot in the leg, hand and abdomen”, according to his colleague, FRANCE 24’s Cyril Payen in Bangkok...

“I was at the scene of the shooting, and I can confirm that the army was the only side firing gunshots”, he said, adding that the ammunition used was real, not rubber bullets....

Rand was swiftly evacuated and driven to Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn hospital where he was successfully operated on. Although his injuries are considered serious, doctors say he is out of danger. Rand was hit in the femoral artery, abdomen and wrist. He is currently in intensive care.
Hat-tip Bangkok Pundit who has compiled more background on the day's events from other sources.  

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