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Army brings death and carnage to the streets

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Sian Powell
London Times
May 15, 2010

A day of violence on the streets of the Thai capital left at least ten dead and 125 wounded after renewed fighting erupted in the city’s commercial heart yesterday. Soldiers fired bullets and teargas into the fortified encampment held for weeks by anti-government protesters, and street battles erupted in the city centre.

What began in early March as a defiant and proud rally intended to oust the Thai Government peacefully and fight for social justice had, by last night, largely unravelled as the army strengthened its stranglehold around thousands of diehard protesters.

Hemmed into their fortified encampment by troops, the remaining protesters digested the grim information that several of their leaders had quit. As long as the security forces remain loyal to the Government their options appear increasingly limited in the face of the army’s firepower.

From dawn yesterday the protest site centred on Ratchaprasong intersection in central Bangkok was surrounded by armed troops and police officers in armoured vehicles. They fired live rounds and rubber bullets as well as teargas at members of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship. The group has spent weeks in the centre of one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities demanding the dissolution of the Thai parliament, followed by elections.

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This article was posted: Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 4:47 am

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