UK Daily Mail
Tuesday, Oct 7, 2008
Scores of protesters were injured in Bangkok today when riot police using tear gas clashed with thousands of protesters who barricaded Parliament.
Some of the anti-government protesters were seriously wounded in the morning clashes, including two men whose legs were blown off at the knee.
Thai Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh quit today, saying he accepted responsibility for the clashes.
Chavalit said he had ordered police to use restraint against the 5,000 PAD supporters barricaded outside parliament to disrupt Thailand’s new prime minister Somchai Wongsawat’s maiden policy speech.
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But some protesters were badly hurt, including two men who had part of their legs blown off by exploding teargas canisters when police cleared a path into parliament for ministers.
“Since this action did not achieve what I planned, I want to show my responsibility for this operation,” Chavalit said in his resignation letter.
Mr Wongsawat opened the parliamentary session after a 90-minute delay but as he spoke chaos escalated outside the building.
Protesters regrouped and barricaded all four entrances to Parliament, saying their goal was to block top officials from leaving the building.
‘Victory is near. We are surrounding the building so he cannot leave,’ one of the protest leaders Somsak Kosaisuk told a cheering crowd outside Parliament, where protesters had chained one of the gates shut.
By late afternoon, the PAD controlled several city blocks around parliament and police headquarters, where riot police fired volleys of teargas at the crowd. They lobbed firecrackers at police crouched behind shields.
This article was posted: Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 4:00 am