FRANCE 24 journalist Nelson Rand was shot in the leg, hand and abdomen whilst covering clashes between opposition 'Red Shirt' protesters and security forces in Bangkok. He is currently in intensive care at a Bangkok hospital.
One of FRANCE 24’s two Thailand correspondents was seriously wounded when he was shot three times while covering violent clashes between opposition “Red Shirt” protesters and security forces in central Bangkok on Friday.
Canadian-born Nelson Rand “was shot in the leg, hand and abdomen”, according to his colleague, FRANCE 24’s Cyril Payen in Bangkok.
According to Payen, Rand was either shot at or hit by stray bullets fired by the army.
“I was at the scene of the shooting, and I can confirm that the army was the only side firing gunshots”, he said, adding that the ammunition used was real, not rubber bullets.
“We didn’t actually see where the shots came from, there was a lot of confusion”, noted Payen.
Rand was swiftly evacuated and driven to Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn hospital where he was successfully operated on. Although his injuries are considered serious, doctors say he is out of danger. Rand was hit in the femoral artery, abdomen and wrist. He is currently in intensive care.
On Wednesday, a military spokesman had warned that “snipers would be deployed” around the barricaded camp that opposition protesters have occupied for several weeks, and that troops were authorised to fire live rounds if threatened, or against “terrorist elements”.
Tensions at "boiling point" said Rand before shooting incident
Rand was with several hundred protesters on one of the main streets outside the major protest camp when soldiers launched an operation to clear the avenue.
“Soldiers are advancing on this position and firing tear gas,” Rand told FRANCE 24 television just over an hour before being shot.
“Tensions have come to a boiling point, the situation is very chaotic,” he reported.
Two Thai journalists were also shot during the clashes, according to Thai media reports.
As the security situation in the Bangkok deteriorated, several foreign embassies remained closed Friday.
Reacting to Rand’s shooting earlier Friday, French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told the AFP service that Paris "deplored the incident" and that diplomats in Bangkok were following events closely.