Thai protests turn deadly

At least one person died and dozens were injured when opposition demonstrations turned into violent clashes with government supporters in Bangkok. A Thai military commander said 400 troops would be rushed in to help restore order.


BANGKOK - One person is reported dead and at least 35 were hurt in clashes on Tuesday between supporters of Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and anti-government protesters in Bangkok, a Health Ministry official said.

The official could not confirm television reports that one person had been killed in the skirmishes near Government House, occupied since last week by protesters demanding Samak's resignation.

The pro-government crowd broke through several lines of riot police to confront members of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) near the prime minister's official compound.

The two sides threw stones and wooden planks at one another before additional riot police moved in to separate them.

Live TV coverage showed one man lying on the ground with a small pool of blood next to his head.

Government supporters said shots were fired during the skirmish, but it was not clear by whom. A Reuters reporter at the scene saw two bullet casings lying on the pavement.


About 400 Thai troops were ordered to Bangkok. "Soldiers must leave the barracks to help restore peace," army commander Anupong Paochinda told Thailand's TPBS TV as the four companies of troops armed with shields and batons arrived at the scene.

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