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article imageBangkok clashes result in 21 deaths among army and protesters

By R. C. Camphausen     Apr 11, 2010 in Politics
Bangkok - A violent clash between army and protesters last night left 4 army personnel dead and 17 red-shirt demonstrators. Finally, the army was forced to retreat and even left several tanks behind in the streets of the old city.
With the deaths resulting from last night's eruption of violence in the Thai capital, the options for Thailand's embattled Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his government become ever more difficult ones. While the red-shirts vow to continue their anti-government protests today, and are welcoming more and new supporters,
their leaders have no also called - finally - on the revered monarch to speak out.
Also, it seems that the military is not wholeheartedly on the government's side, a possibility raised in a BBC report that says the PM, Mr Vejjajiva, had to beg generals to implement emergency laws intended to clear the demonstrations once and for all. The report also called the army attack on April 10 "a botched operation" that led to the deaths of 17 civilians and 4 army personnel.
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post also informs us that there are at least 800 people wounded in the clashes, something easily imagined when we hear that both sides used guns, and that the protesters fought the army back by using Molotov cocktails and burning camping-gas containers. The army seems to have fired mainly rubber-bullets and used copious amounts of teargas and water from cannons, yet a British teacher named Paul has said that he witnessed a protester being shot dead with live ammo.
In a second article dealing with the present situation in Bangkok and the prime minister's difficulties, the BBC quotes Dr Thitinan Pongsudihrak, from Chulalongkorn University, saying that the PM's days in office could well be numbered: "Abhisit's departure is imminent."
Update
As of today, the civilian death are 17.
More about Red-shirt protest, Bangkok, Casualties, Thailand, Abhisit vejjajiva
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