News / Asia

Bangkok Street Fighting Continues, Death Toll Mounts

'Red shirt' anti-governement protesters carry a civilian after he was allegedly shot by a Thai army sniper near Ragprarop intersection during ongoing clashes in Bangkok, 15 May 2010
'Red shirt' anti-governement protesters carry a civilian after he was allegedly shot by a Thai army sniper near Ragprarop intersection during ongoing clashes in Bangkok, 15 May 2010

Multimedia

Audio

Street fighting continues in the Thai capital, Bangkok, as anti-government protesters try to push back soldiers who have surrounded their camp. At least 22 people were killed in the last two days and at least 170 wounded.

Gunfire and explosions continued Saturday as protesters for a third day clashed with security forces surrounding their camp.

Saturday afternoon, just north of the protest area, the Thai army spread razor wire and set up checkpoints. They put up signs that read "live fire zone" and urged people not to enter.

The anti-government red shirts set up their own barricades of rubber tires and slowly drove a yellow tanker truck toward the soldiers, until shots were fired. Demonstrators hit the ground and scattered into alleyways.  

A few protesters could be seen limping away bleeding, apparently shot, but still defiant. They received medical care from nurses standing by to aid casualties.

Army spokesman Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd spoke on national television and said the government regrets the deaths and injuries. He says the army has been trying very hard to use measures to end the protest while avoiding any losses.

Authorities blame the clashes on violent elements among the protesters that they say have fired grenades and guns at soldiers who were forced to return fire. Protesters, however, say soldiers and snipers are aiming to kill them.

The latest violence broke out Thursday after a Thai general supporting the protesters was shot, apparently by a sniper.  The protesters have occupied a central commercial district for more than two months, demanding the government step down and allow new elections.

A deal for November elections broke down after protest leaders demanded government leaders face charges for the violent clashes. The government says it expects to restore order within a matter of days.

Saturday evening, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva went on national television and said the security operations are the only way to restore normalcy in the capital. He asked the public to cooperate with security forces.

But Bangkok is looking and sounding increasingly like a war zone. Well into Saturday night, explosions and gunfire could be heard in the city center.

And normally bustling streets near the protest area are empty with shops closed and few people daring to walk on the streets. Most mass transit has been shut down and many highways are closed by the fighting.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs