Friday, May 21, 2010

Bangkok Is Tense as Order Returns

The Thai military declared Thursday that it had recaptured control of central Bangkok, but Thailand remained on edge after the worst urban violence in the country’s modern history.

Soldiers and emergency workers picked through the rubble of nearly 40 smoldering buildings and the abandoned encampments of antigovernment protesters.

A patrol roamed a site where a military assault on Wednesday broke up a two-month-long protest by demonstrators that had paralyzed parts of Bangkok.

“The terrorists are still at work! Please leave the area!” said an announcement broadcast over a loudspeaker attached to the soldiers’ military vehicle. The soldiers said they were still searching for explosives and booby traps.

The death toll from a week of violence rose to 53 people killed, including 15 on Wednesday alone, and 399 people wounded, the vast majority of them civilians.

“Overall we have the situation under control,” said Col. Sansern Kaewkumnerd, a military spokesman.

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