Thailand Protests Turn Violent

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – At least one person was shot dead as anti-government protests in the Thai capital Bangkok turned violent, with demonstrators also trying to force their way into the offices of embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Thailand Protests Turn Violent

Anti-government protests in Thai capital Bangkok turned violent with at least one man shot dead and five others injured with gunshot wounds.

The circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting were not immediately clear but National Police Deputy Spokesman Anucha Romyanant said the dead man was a 21-year-old male with two bullet wounds.

It came after a day of scattered violence in the capital on Saturday, during which protesters tried to force their way into Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's heavily guarded offices and attacked people they suspected of being supporters of the current regime outside a pro-government rally.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have joined protests in recent days to call for an end to Yingluck’s embattled administration in the biggest street protests seen in Thailand since the mass rallies of 2010, which left some 90 people dead and injured hundreds more.

While their numbers have fallen sharply since an estimated crowd of up to 180,000 people joined an opposition rally on November 24, the protesters have increasingly sought out high profile targets.

Having forced their way into the Thai army's headquarters in Bangkok on Friday, demonstrators Saturday turned their attentions to Yingluck’s offices at Government House, using piles of sandbags to try to climb over barriers protecting the building.

"About 2,000 protesters of students network were trying to pressure the police" said National Police spokesman Piya Utayo, adding that demonstrators were believed to be bringing more sandbags to key locations.

"We have information that there will be efforts to escalate violence in several areas," he added.

Yingluck was not believed to be at Government House at the time, AFP reported.

At the same time, around 1,000 protesters led by university students tried to block people from entering Rajamangala Stadium, in the northeast of the city, where government supporters were holding a rally.

The crowd first attacked two men, one of whom was pulled off the back of a motorcycle and punched and kicked. Both men were seen being pulled away by security and treated for head injuries.

Later, the crowd surrounded a taxi believed to be carrying people wearing red shirts, a sign of government support, and shattered the windshield before the taxi was able to drive away.

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