Thai troops begin to clear "Red Shirt" rally site in Bangkok

14:42, May 14, 2010      

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Thai soldiers are deployed to ensure security around the Lumpini Park in central Bangkok, capital of Thailand, May 13, 2010, after a 25-year old man was killed in clashes between troops and anti-government protestors. (Xinhua/Thana Nuntavoranut)

Thai security forces Friday began to clear part of the capital of anti-government "Red Shirt" protesters following the violent clashes between troops and protestors last night in Bangkok.

Gunfire shots were heard in the Thai capital near an anti- government rally site. Thai troops fired tear gas to disperse some protesters who had set up a checkpoint outside a Bangkok night market.

The Thai army on Thursday night clashed with hardline "red- shirts" protesters, leaving one killed and over 10 people injured.

The clashes occurred around 08:40 p.m. (0140 GMT) after demonstrators were trying to remove the orange cones used to block traffic, the TPBS TV said. Then protesters tried to prevent the army from coming out of the Lumpini park, some 2km from the "red- shirts" rally site, by putting bonsai in front of one of the park'' s gates.

Shortly after that, gunshots were heard when the army fired rubber bullets to disperse the protesters, leaving many injured, the TPBS said. One protester was shot in the head and killed.

An anti-government leader, Maj-General Khattiya Sawasdipol, was also shot and suffered a severe gun wound on his head.

The clash came after Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva decided to end the two-month standoff following his withdrawal of the Nov. 14 election proposal Thursday.

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