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At least 77 wounded in army-protester clash in Bangkok
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10:33, April 13, 2009

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At least 77 were wounded when hundreds of army soldiers and anti-government protesters clashed in Bangkok early Monday morning 14 hours after Thai PM declared a state of emergency in the capital city, Thai media reports.

The Nation quoted hospital reports as saying at least 77 people suffered injuries mainly from teargas, with five seriously injured.

At around 7:20 a.m., the government announced it was in control of the situation at Din Daeng, The Nation said on its website.

The report said Deputy PM's Secretary-General Panithan Wattanayakorn told a press conference Monday morning that some protesters had been arrested, and Army Spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd earlier said "Similar operations will be carried out in other areas."

Thai soldiers block a road near Government house in Bangkok, on April 13, 2009. Troops fired tear gas early Monday during an operation to disperse a group of several hundred protesters in Bangkok under a state of emergency, an army spokesman said

The clash occurred around 4:30 a.m. Monday (2100 GMT Sunday) when some 300 so-called red-shirted protesters used a seized bus to crash soldiers stationed at Din Daeng District in north Bangkok, Army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd told TPBS.

Thai supporters of exiled ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra surround the compound of the interior ministry in Bangkok, on April 13, 2009. At least 77 wounded when hundreds of army soldiers and anti-government protesters clashed in Bangkok early Monday morning, 14 hours after Thai PM declared a state of emergency in the capital city, authorities said

Soldiers fired warning shots into the air and used teargas to disperse the protesters after failing to persuade the red shirts to stop, Sansern said.

Earlier the Health Department of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration announced a total injury number of 68.

Army Chief General Anupong Paojinda refused to comment on the incident, adding that he will learn more about it first.

At about 6:15 a.m. Monday (2315 GMT Sunday), ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra told the Red-shirted protesters to continue fighting in a phone conversation with a core leader of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared on Sunday afternoon a state of emergency in Bangkok and some districts of five provinces nearby, citing the escalating violence of red-shirted protesters.

The latest round of the anti-government protests led by UDD has entered its 19th day. Red-shirted protesters on Saturday stormed the venue of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summitand related summits in Pattaya, and forced the summits canceled.


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