News / Asia

Explosions Rock Bangkok After Shooting of Dissident Thai General

VOA Correspondent Daniel Schearf witnessed shooting of General Seh Daeng inside barricaded rally site in Bangkok

Multimedia

Audio
Daniel Schearf

Listen to Daniel Schearf as he describes what he saw
when he witnessed shooting of protest leader

A dissident Thai General has been shot and seriously wounded, along with several other people at the site of an anti-government protest in Bangkok. VOA's Daniel Schearf witnessed the shooting which followed a government threat to seal off the protest area to force weeks-long demonstration to end.  

Major General Khattiya Sawasdipol was shot in the head while talking to a New York Times newspaper reporter and just as Schearf approached him to ask a question.  Seconds later, protest security guards yelled at journalists and on-lookers to stay back as they tried to help the general - also known as Seh Daeng  - into a van and to the hospital.  After he was driven away, explosions rang out and the protesters, called the Red Shirts, scattered.

One protester, who was trying to get people to leave the area, says soldiers fired a grenade and used live ammunition.  The protester said, "A soldier, Thai soldier, he shoot M16 and M79 to Thai people, Red Shirts."  But his claims could not be verified in the ensuring chaos.

Thai authorities have accused protesters of hiding guns and grenades. Adding to the confusion immediately following the shooting, demonstrators began lighting fireworks. Some protesters used bamboo poles to break billboard street lights, apparently concerned that snipers would see them.

Earlier in the day, authorities had said they would isolate the protest area using armored vehicles and cut phone connections, water and electricity to pressure the protest to end.  A spokesman said the army would also deploy snipers to look for what he called armed "terrorists."

General Seh Daeng was one of the more militant supporters of the anti-government protest.  Some accused him of trying to form a paramilitary force among the protesters.  Because of his support of the protest, he was suspended from the army and had a warrant out for his arrest.

Authorities have issued arrest warrants for many of the protest leaders who have been labeled "terrorists," after April clashes with security forces that killed more than 20 people.

The protesters have been occupying a central commercial area of Bangkok for two months, demanding that the government, which they say is illegitimate, step down and allow elections.

The government withdrew an offer for early elections in November after protest leaders demanded that officials also face charges for the deaths of protesters.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid