Thai troops crush Bangkok barricades

19th May 2010

The Foreign Office is warning British travellers to avoid all but essential travel to Bangkok as Thai troops overrun barricades in the heart of the city.

At least five people are known to have died as forces loyal to prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva stormed Red Shirt barricades ending weeks of protest.

Red Shirt leaders – who have been calling for dissolution of parliament and fresh elections – have surrendered to government forces, wishing to see no further bloodshed.

Protestor areas, where campaigners have been resident since March, are now deserted. A night-time curfew is also in place.

However, pockets of resistance remain at the strategic Ratchaprasong intersection, with leaders – including Jatuporn Prompan and Nattawuk Saikua – urging protestors to continue to fight for democracy.

In the north-east of the country, protesters attacked city halls in Udon and Khon Kaen in solidarity with the Bangkok demonstrations.

A statement from the Foreign Office said: “The situation in Bangkok is unpredictable. 

“Violent clashes between the protestors and security forces have occurred over the past few days in several areas of Bangkok including Ratchaprarop, Din Daeng, Victory Monument, Lumpini Park, Sala Daeng, Silom, Sathorn, Klong Toey and Bon Kai, resulting in over 35 deaths and 280 injured.” 

British travellers were advised to avoid these areas.


End of the Line

Helicopters continue to circle in the skies over Bangkok, while the operation below has been halted to allow thousands of protestors to leave the area.

Army spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd described those arrested as “terrorist leaders”.

The action follows six days of skirmishes around the perimeter of the protest camp, and the death of a renegade general who had backed the protestors.




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