World
Gunmen fire on Thai anti-government protest
Publish Date: Jan 11, 2014
Gunmen fire on Thai anti-government protest
Thai anti-Government protesters wave national flags during a rally in Bangkok, on January 7, 2014 (AFP)
  • mail
  • img
newvision

Several Thai anti-government protesters were wounded after gunmen opened fire on a rally site in Bangkok, authorities said on Saturday, as tensions rise ahead of a planned city-wide "shutdown" to heap more pressure on the caretaker government.

The kingdom is the grip of a political crisis that has led to parliament being dissolved amid mass protests to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and end the influence on Thai politics of her wildly divisive brother, Thaksin.
 
Protesters are seeking to block a snap election called for February 2, and want Yingluck to resign immediately.
 
One protester was seriously wounded after unknown gunmen fired their weapons at the protesters' main rally site in the capital in two separate attacks early Saturday, Thai police told AFP.
 
"The first attack occurred at 2.30am (local time) wounding two people, including a protest security guard. The second took place a few hours later wounding five protesters," according to Police Lieutenant General Prawut Thavornsiri of the Royal Thai Police.
 
The toll was confirmed by the city's Erawan emergency medical centre, who said one man remained in a "critical condition".
 
Eight people, including a policeman, have been killed and dozens injured in street violence in recent weeks, and the government has voiced fears of more bloodshed as protesters refuse to back down in their efforts to oust the Shinawatras.
 
Authorities have raised fears that a planned "shutdown" by the anti-government protesters on Monday could lead to more violence.
 
One company of soldiers was deployed at each of 37 locations -- including government offices -- across the capital on Friday night, an army spokesman told AFP.
 
Thousands of police are also expected to keep the peace.
 
The head of Thailand's powerful army called for calm ahead of Monday's action.
 
"I'm concerned about security as many people will come (on Monday) and violence has happened throughout (the protests)," Army chief General Prayut Chan-O-Cha told reporters on Saturday.
 
"I want to tell all sides not to clash with each other... we are all Thais and we can live together despite our differences," he said.
 
Prayut also urged Thais to "solve the problems of Thai people" in an apparent rebuttal of concerns voiced by the international community at the deteriorating political situation.
 
United Nations' chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for "restraint" from all sides, expressing fears the situation "could escalate in the days ahead"
 
Thailand has experienced several bouts of political violence since Thaksin was ousted as prime minister by royalist generals in 2006.
 
The billionaire tycoon fled the kingdom in 2008 to dodge jail for a corruption conviction that he says was politically motivated.
He is hated by the anti-government protesters, who say his money has poisoned Thailand's politics, but draws strong loyalty from the northern half of the country.
 
The protesters want to suspend Thailand's democracy to allow reforms aimed at rooting out his influence.
But his sister Yingluck's Puea Thai party is expected to win the February election if it goes ahead.
 
AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Missing Mexico journalist found shot dead
THE editor of an investigative magazine in violence-wracked northwestern Mexico who disappeared two weeks ago was found dead with gunshot wounds...
Bashir calls opponents for talks
SUDAN'S President Omar al-Bashir has urged opponents to join him in 'national dialogue' talks, days after it was announced he would be seeking re-election...
Mexico says mayor, wife were behind student-teacher disappearances
A Mexican mayor and his wife were "probable masterminds" behind the disappearance of 43 student-teachers last month in the restive southwest, the country's attorney general said on Wednesday....
Canada PM vows crackdown after capital shocked by fatal attacks
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to redouble the country's fight against "terrorist organizations" abroad after a reported convert to Islam rampaged through parliament, shocking the usually tranquil capital city....
Drugmakers to join forces to make millions of Ebola vaccine doses
Leading drugmakers plan to work together to speed up the development of an Ebola vaccine and hope to produce millions of doses for use next year....
Rwanda imposes Ebola checks on US travellers
RWANDA has boosted travel restrictions to stem the spread of the Ebola virus, ordering travellers who have been in the United States and Spain to send daily updates...
Was Oscar Pistorius' 5 year sentence fair and just?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter