World News

Protests Turn Deadly in Thailand as PM Offers to Negotiate

Protests have turned deadly in the Thai capital, as Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra offered to hold talks with demonstrators trying to force her government from office.

Gunshots rang out near a sports stadium in Bangkok, with police saying one person was killed and at least four wounded.

The violence flared after anti-government protesters attacked people headed to a rally in support of Ms. Yingluck.

More than 1,000 protesters gathered in Bangkok Saturday as part of a week of dramatic demonstrations. The protesters tried to force their way into government communications offices and attacked a bus and other vehicles.

In response to the unrest, Ms. Yingluck said Saturday she is willing to speak with protesters and other stakeholders.

Leaders of the anti-government movement rejected her offer, saying the government is insincere in its desire to negotiate.



Anti-government protesters have been occupying government buildings in recent days in a bid to force Ms. Yingluck's government from office.

Opposition leaders say Sunday will be their "victory day" and have called for supporters to besiege the prime minister's office. They vow to take over every ministry until Prime Minister Yingluck resigns.

The prime minister survived a no-confidence vote in parliament Thursday. She refuses to quit and has called for dialogue to resolve the situation.

The street protests are the largest in Thailand since 2010, when more than 90 people were killed in a military crackdown on an opposition protest.

The latest demonstrations were triggered several weeks ago by an amnesty bill that would have allowed former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra - Ms. Yingluck's brother - to return home and avoid a two-year jail term for corruption. The Senate rejected the bill but protests have continued.
###

Feature Story

Anti-government protesters clash with riot police during unrest in Islamabad September 1, 2014.

Despite Protests, Pakistani PM Refuses to Step Down

Meanwhile, the country’s powerful military denies allegations it is secretly backing the protesters to force Nawaz Sharif from power More