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5 killed as anti-government protests in Thailand turn violent

Sunday, 1 December 2013 - 10:14am IST Updated: Sunday, 1 December 2013 - 1:28pm IST | Place: Bangkok | Agency: PTI
The protests turned violent on Saturday, with five people being killed inside Ramkhamhaeng University in clashes that continued till this morning.

At least five people were killed and dozens injured in clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters in Bangkok on Sunday, as Thai police fired tear gas and water cannon to prevent demonstrators from storming the Government House to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The protests turned violent on Saturday, with five people being killed inside Ramkhamhaeng University in clashes that continued till this morning.

Deputy Police Commissioner-General Veerapong Chiewpreecha said that five people, including a 21-year-old student and a government supporter, were killed inside the varsity.

Chiewpreecha said the exact number of injured could not be established, though reports said 45 people were wounded. He said a defused grenade was found inside the campus.

Red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan has claimed that four government supporters were among the five victims.

About 2,000 students trapped inside the university were evacuated by police this morning.

Meanwhile, anti-government protesters, demanding the resignation of the Yingluck government, marched towards the Government House to seize all ministries and thereby paralyse government functioning.

At least three tear gas canisters were fired at protesters at Chamai Maruchet Bridge as they were trying to march to Government House.

Meanwhile, Suthep Thaugsuban, a former opposition Democrat MP, told his supporters to "move quick" to prevent officers from getting prepared.

"Today is an important day. We'll go to anywhere that is important to the government and we'll paralyse it from tomorrow onwards because nobody will be able to work tomorrow," he said.

Anti-government protesters today took control of Thai PBS telvision station while another group managed to break through barriers to enter the compound of the Interior Ministry.

Meanwhile, Red shirts, pro-government supporters, left the Rajmangala stadium they had been camping in and returned home to let police handle itch the anti government protesters.

Satit Wongnongtaey, an anti-government protest leader, announced that protesters were moving to eight destinations, including Channel 3, Channel 5, Channel 7, MCOT and NBT.

Although Thai PBS was not one of the protester's initial targets, Sakoltee Phattiyakul, a protest leader, had suddenly changed his plan to occupy at Thai PBS at 10.50 am (local time).

Sakoltee called on the Thai PBS broadcast committee to provide a broadcast link to the Government Complex rally site so that the protest leaders could reach statements live.

For the past week, thousands of protesters have marched in Bangkok in a bid to unseat Yingluck, whom they accuse of acting as a proxy for her fugitive brother and former premier Thaksin Shinwatra.

The country is facing its largest protests since 2010, when thousands of "red-shirt" Thaksin supporters occupied key parts of the capital. More than 90 people, mostly civilian protesters, died over the course of the two-month sit-in.


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