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RAW: Redshirts: Battle of Bon Kai - UPDATE: Troops Begin Massing in Central Bangkok

Bangkok residents living in the "war zones" are running out of patience after being trapped inside their homes for five days.

The Bon Kai community in Klong Toey district and residents near the Ratchaprarob intersection in Phaya Thai district have been the hardest hit by sporadic clashes between demonstrators and security forces since the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation forces began surrounding the red shirts’ Ratchaprasong encampment on Thursday.

Bon Kai is located on Rama IV road, which has become a major battleground between protesters and security forces.

Ratchaprarop intersection emerged as another intense fighting zone after security forces set up barricades to stop people travelling to the rally site.

Thirty-seven people have been killed and more than 300 injured so far, many of them shot on Rama IV and Ratchaprarop roads. Red shirt sympathisers living in the localities say they believe the snipers are soldiers, while others say the attackers are linked to the anti-government group.

UPDATE:

Troops Begin Massing in Central Bangkok

(CNN) - Several hundred military troops began massing in central Bangkok early Wednesday - the largest movement of forces since clashes broke out last Thursday between opposition protesters and government security officials.

The troops were seen walking in a long column and carrying razor wire and fire extinguishers near the site where the protesters have been launching demonstrations.

Opposition leaders told CNN in a phone call that armored personnel carriers were also spotted near the protest site, but that report could not be immediately confirmed.

It was not clear where the troops were heading, but the large show of force raised speculation that some sort of military operation could be unfolding to root out about 5,000 protesters still occupying the demonstration area.

At least 36 people have been killed since clashes intensified Thursday.

The violence prompted the United Nations' top human rights official to implore anti-government protesters and government officials to resume talks.

Satit Wongnongtaey, the Thai prime minister's office spokesman, said negotiations can be held when the opposition, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, ends its protest.

"I can confirm that the government has always wanted to talk, but it has been let down by the UDD, due to the
intervention of a mastermind abroad," said Satit, who didn't identify the person.

The opposition members, also known as Red Shirts, support former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 bloodless military coup.

The capital city was notably calmer Tuesday. But after more than five days of violent standoffs, debris and piles of tires littered battle-scarred streets, and the sound of gunfire still regularly punctuated the air.

Police spokesman Col. Songphol Watanachai told reporters Tuesday that police had seized 9,021 tires from the city's streets. Burning tires have been used by protesters to create shields of black smoke during recent clashes.

Songphol said police had arrested and were interrogating a Red Shirt protester who was a close aide to Maj. Gen. Khattiya Sawasdipol, better known as Seh Daeng - a renegade leader of a violent anti-government faction who died this week after being shot in the head by a sniper.

As troops continued their crackdown on protesters, Amnesty International criticized the government's approach.

Benjamin Zawacki, the organization's Thailand specialist, told CNN that 35 of the people killed since Thursday were unarmed, including a 17-year-old boy and two medics.

"Our concern is that the government is using live ammunition or live rounds pre-emptively, rather than as a last resort, and using them against persons who are unarmed and present no credible threat to the soldiers or anyone else," he said.

But government officials maintained that they were following rules of engagement. Troops only use live bullets when first attacked by terrorists with war weapons, Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd told reporters.

Two main groups of anti-government demonstrators have been demanding that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolve the lower house of Parliament and call new elections: the Red Shirts, whose leaders claim that protesters are peaceful, and the Black Shirts, who advocate a more violent approach.

The government ordered all demonstrators to leave their protest site by 3 p.m. Monday, but thousands continued to hold their ground.

"As the latest government deadline passes, there is a high risk that the situation could spiral out of control," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Monday. "To prevent further loss of life, I appeal to the protesters to step back from the brink, and the security forces to exercise maximum restraint in line with the instructions given by the government. Ultimately, this situation can only be resolved by negotiation."

The Ministry of Public Health reported that 65 people have died and more than 1,000 have been wounded since the Red Shirt anti-government protesters began flooding the streets of Bangkok on March 12 to demand new elections

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Added: May-18-2010 Occurred On: May-18-2010
By: LastActionZero
In:
News, Citizen Journalism
Tags: Bangkok, Bon Kai district, Thailand, anti-government, protests, war zone, redshirts, clash, security forces, soldiers, snipers
Marked as: featured
Views: 34148 | Comments: 45 | Votes: 7 | Favorites: 4 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 1 | Times used in channels: 3
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  • this isn't gonna end well...........

    Posted May-18-2010 By 

    (6) | Report

  • lol gonna be one dead white dude in moment.

    Posted May-18-2010 By 

    (2) | Report

  • Welcome to the age of chaos..

    Posted May-18-2010 By 

    (2) | Report

  • Comment of user 'deathnoter' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • I haven't yet seen any good analysis of which side I should be rooting for. I mean I know the Red Shirts claim that the current govt got there by fixing the election, but the govt claims the outgoing guy was a corrupt thug. So who to believe? Right now the only people I feel sympathy for are the citizens stuck in their homes while this bullshit goes down.

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (2) | Report

    • The ousted dude, Thugsin, was a real fuckin prick. But also a successfull business man, all in all a very controversial dude. I fuckin hated him for taking credit of the tourist boom of the late 90's and 2000, calling it his victory is pretty fuckin far out there... Read more from Wikipedia. One of his pet projects was:

      - The War on Drugs:

      In the first three months, Human Rights Watch reports that 2,275 people were killed.[72] The government claimed that only around 50 of the deaths were More..

      Posted May-19-2010 By 

      (0) | Report

    • Thats what ALL of the world needs to do. If you sell drugs and get caught they kill you. That would end the war on drugs fast.

      Posted May-19-2010 By 

      (0) | Report

    • And what I heard was that the military drove the legally elected President out off office(2006).
      A military dictatorship.So what ever the red-shirts stand for, their discharged President is the actual elected leader.
      Why doesnt the military allow ellections?
      Why do most rightwingers here stand behind this dictatorship? Why is our media so compliant with this military dictatorship?

      Posted May-19-2010 By 

      (0) | Report

    • Did you not read what I pasted from Wiki? Somewhat 60% were extrajuducial killings... People who had nothing to do with drugs...

      Posted May-19-2010 By 

      (-1) | Report

    • First off, Thugsin was not the president, Thailand is a monarchy. The ex PM is as crooked as they come and he was ousted for that very reason... That's why the military took control.

      Furthermore the Reds were offered elections in November, one year ahead of time, but that's not what they're really after. It's all about Thugsin, the ousted, crooked as fuck ex PM who shops in a Louis Vuitton boutigue on Champs Elysees while his followers are destroying the capital of the kingdom. THAT'S WHY peo More..

      Posted May-19-2010 By 

      (0) | Report

  • Comment of user '51Areas' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Why don't they all put down the weapons and walk to 7-11 for some taquitos? That's what I would do. Mmmmmm taquitos...

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Brought to you by 7-11.

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (1) | Report

  • These people are really brave! Kill police and army! Free the country from junta!

    Posted May-21-2010 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Now the ousted ex PM on Thailand, Mr Thugsin also known as cube head "hinted" that the militarys intervention of the "Red camp" might result in nationwide guerrilla warfare. This fucking dude is sitting somwhere in Dubai in his 8 star hotel and inciting people to civil war...

    The Red radio station are already flaming supporters to burn everything in sight etc. My friends just reported seeing the smoke rising. Shopping centre (WTC) has been set ablaze and also the main stoc More..

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (1) | Report

  • I like how there's explosions nearby and gunfire, yet during filming he looks at random guys and asks, "Hi. How are you?"

    LOL.

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (1) | Report

  • I'd say that was pretty good amateur reporting from a guy who probably is a tourist. Kept it together pretty well and tried to explain what was going on as best he could.

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Really? not one bicycle tire in the pile?

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • What do they have Bob Ross over there running a camera?

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • What a waste of tires!!!!!! WTF?!?!

    Posted May-18-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • The red shirts will now disperse, arm themselves, & start killing troops & officials. Here comes your payback, tyrants. You asked for it. Now you're going to get it.

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Tony Jaa needs to show up and straighten this whole thing out...OngBak2 style!

    Posted May-18-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Any clue about the reason for that 3 decades long demonstration ?

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • It will be interesting to see how the western world will react if a supposedly democratic country ends up re-enacting Tienanmen Square.

    Posted May-18-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • *my opinion
    "my eyes" is german

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

    • how well do you know the history behind the current clashes? do you know how it all started and why they started and how far back it goes? do you think the reds are really fighting for democracy or just to get Thugsin back into power?

      it's easy to read a few stories on the news and go to thailand for a while on holiday. that still hardly makes anyone an expert on why exactly things are going down like they are now. i lived in bangkok for 4 years and witnessed Thugsins politics in action and t More..

      Posted May-19-2010 By 

      (0) | Report

    • and one reason they wont just "let someone have elections" when they want is because that's not how countries are run. and if you understood the thai system better, you would realise that Thugsin would buy the votes of the ignorant, just like he's done before with idiotic promises of free health care etc... running hospitals out of business to gain more control for himself and the love of the people who are less fortunate. imagine that, a corrupt multi billionaire as the head of a rura More..

      Posted May-19-2010 By 

      (0) | Report

    • Comment of user 'Onceproud' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • They should all get together and have a few slurpees at 7-11 while they discuss the problem if that doesnt work then they should throw refer bombs so they can all get high and make friends.

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Awesome action, awesome commentary.. Defiantly Vote

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • The army could steamroll the whole opposition if they didn't restrain themselves, the fact that "only" 65 people died in over two months says about the troops ROE. They're firing rubber bullets (which have caused some fatalities) and destroying the barricades, there's no shelling or serious firefights.

    Posted May-20-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • stupid americaan comentary uh the firing uh ah stupid people nuke them

    Posted May-19-2010 By 

    (0) | Report

  • looks like KNLA in Myanmar.

    Posted May-24-2010 By 

    (0) | Report


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