2 shot dead as Bangkok street protest turns violent, red shirts retreat

2 shot dead as Bangkok street protest turns violent, red shirts retreat
# 01 December 2013 03:28 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Violence erupted in Bangkok Saturday night between supporters and opponents of the government, leaving at least two dead and dozens injured, APA reports quoting XInhua.

Following the confirmed death of an anti-government student, a supporter of the pro-government red shirts, who was believed to be a 23-year-old soldier, was found dead late Saturday night with gunshot wounds, the Bangkok Post reported.

In a bid to avoid further bloodshed, the red-shirts, whose mass rally sparked the violent clashes with anti-government protesters, declared on Sunday an end to the demonstration at an stadium in the Thai capital and urged its supporters to go home.

Jatuporn Promphan, the outspoken red-shirt leader claimed that four red supporters and one university student were killed in the overnight clashes.

An estimated 70,000 red shirts showed up Saturday at the Rajamangala Stadium to voice their support for the government. Some of them were confronted by a group of anti-government protesters, including students from the nearby Ramkhamhaeng University when trying to make their way into the stadium.

Several rounds of gunshots and what sounds like an explosion were heard. A small street nearby was reportedly seen on huge fire.

The first victim, identified by police as a 21-year-old student of Ramkhamhaeng University, was fatally shot at the back and the bullet pierced through his lung. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

It remains unclear who fired the shots.

A medical service center based in Bangkok confirmed with Thai Rak newspaper Sunday morning that 35 people who were injured in the scuffle have been sent to hospital for treatment.

A 29-year-old Cambodian worker and two university students were among the wounded. The worker apparently was a bystander and was shot in the back by a stray bullet.

The prolonged anti-government movement in Thailand, which has triggered the biggest street protest since 2010, demands to uproot the so-called "Thaksin's regime," allegedly carried out by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of the deposed former leader.