Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thai Authorities Fire at Protesters Near Capital

Thai security forces and anti-government protesters clashed Wednesday on the outskirts of Bangkok, with troops firing both over and then directly into a crowd of Red Shirts to keep them from expanding their demonstrations.

It was not immediately clear if the troops were shooting live ammunition or rubber bullets or how many people were wounded in the confrontation along a major road connecting Bangkok with its northern suburbs. A nearby hospital said people injured in the clash were brought in for treatment but it did not have an immediate tally.

The Red Shirts, who have paralyzed parts of the capital with protests for weeks in their campaign to bring down a government they view as illegitimate, had announced that they were widening their demonstrations and dared the military to stop them as hundreds headed on motorbikes and pickup trucks to a planned rally in a suburb of the capital.

The shooting Wednesday raised concerns that more violence was to come after government warnings that patience was running out in the seven-week standoff.

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