First reports of attacks on red shirts

13 05 2010

This post began as a running commentary as fighting broke out in Bangkok, with a reported 32,000 armed troops surrounding red shirt protesters. PPT has now returned to regular posting.

2Bangkok.com reports: “More shooting and grenades reported at the southern Red Shirt barricades (at Silom Road) / Key Red Shirt militant leader Seh Daeng shot and hospitalized / Some reports of protesters fleeing the rally site.

Bangkok Pundit says this:

21:10: TNN reports that Seh Daeng was shot by a high velocity gun.”

“20:30 ThaiPBS reports that sounds of gunfire also heard near Sala Daeng intersection and was fired into the red shirts. TNN reports it was Seh Daeng who was shot.”

Blogging at New Mandala says: “Several injured it seems. More gun / M79 fire. Guns firing right now as I peck on my iPhone. 19.31” and later: “Dozens of shots fired….probably 100 or so by now. Still unclear as to number of injuries / deaths, if any.” See comment thread for reports from many observers.

Bloomberg reports: “Thai security forces have started an operation to seal off a central Bangkok commercial district with 6,000 protesters inside…”. Updated report here.

AP reports: “A short burst of gunfire and at least two explosions have been heard in central Bangkok where Red Shirt anti-government protesters are camped.It was not clear who was shooting, but the sounds came after the government said it will impose a military lockdown on the area in an effort to evict the protesters.” SkyNews has a similar report. BBC has a report also.

VOA reports that Seh Daeng has been shot. It is unclear whether he is dead. Seems an eye-witness account of the sniper shot at Seh Daeng: “VOA Correspondent Daniel Schearf in Bangkok reports witnessing the general, known as Seh Daeng, being shot, possibly by a sniper, within the so-called Red Shirt protesters barricaded rally site. There are also reports of gunfire and other explosions inside the encampment.” CNN says Seh Daeng is critically wounded. AP (updated here) and Reuters report on this assassination bid also. Photo of Seh Daeng in hospital here. Red shirt leaders reportedly defiant, although other reports are that some are taking cover or even resigning, maybe out of fear that they are assassination targets.

Times Online reports on a statement by Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd of CRES that says “Snipers will be deployed in the operation.” Looks like they might have had Seh Daeng as their first target.

A New Mandala blogger says that “Silom [is] like a quiet war zone after the initial frenzy about 7:30.” Al Jazeera has a longer report. The Nation’s report is here, with commentary that suggests injuries to an unknown number of protesters from bomb explosions.

The attack on Seh Daeng may have been an attempt to shock and to take out someone the government has always seen as a critical factor in red shirt organizing. It is possible that the government side may now wait to see red shirt reaction before continuing with any crackdown. It is difficult to see who the government could blame for this assassination attempt, but in the past few weeks that have always denied everything. Maybe they say they were taking out a “terrorist.”

Somewhat oddly, the Straits Times has a account of Seh Daeng here, without mentioning his shooting.

Readers might want to follow the TAN Twitter on events. A reader suggests that this Twitter site incorporates TAN and others. Reports clashes at the hospital where Seh Daeng has been taken for emergency treatment. TAN has a useful timeline of events. CNN has a voice report from Dan Rivers.

Red shirt crowds remained in place (see photos here) and groups of red shirts clashed sporadically with soldiers.


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13 05 2010
RED SHIRT leader get shot! « THE SON OF THE KHMER EMPIRE កុលបុត្រមហានគរខ្មែរ

[…] The up-date-news of the RED crack down by the double standard govt is reportedly posted at Political Prisoners in Thailand which interestingly Seh Daeng, the RED SHIRT’S security leader, was seriously shot and now he is being treated at Huachiev Hospital. Please read the collective news here. […]

14 05 2010
The army continues to move in « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] PPT suggested that the government side would deny involvement in the assassination bid against Seh Daeng. It […]

14 05 2010
RED SHIRT leader get shot! « ខ្មែរបង្រួបបង្រួម

[…] seriously shot and now he is being treated at Huachiev Hospital. Please read the collective news here.   បញ្ចេញ […]