"Red-shirts" militants plotting sabotage: Thai official

20:10, October 11, 2010      

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Thailand's Department of Special Investigation (DSI) unveiled Monday that the alleged 11 "Red- shirts" warriors had admitted they were among 39 people who had received weapons-training in a neighboring country in order to commit sabotage in Thailand.

Pol Lt Col Payao Thongsen, an investigator in charge of terrorism case for DSI, said that those 11 men arrested in northern Chiang Mai province earlier this month were proved to link to "Red-shirts" movement and confessed they were among 39 men who had been trained how to use weapons and assemble explosives in a neighboring country of Thailand for the purpose of creating disturbance and assassinating important government figures, a local website Kom Chad Luek reported.

Those 11 men said they joined the anti-government "Red-shirts" protest during April and May this year and witnessed some radical supporters using weapons to fight with military on May 14-19 when the government decided to disperse the protesters forcefully. As the protest ended on May 19, some of the hard-core "Red-shirts" members were later contacted by the "Red-shirts" sub-leaders to obtain weapons-training.

According to what the 11 suspects said, after the training had finished, each trainee got 20,000 Baht cash (666 U.S. dollars).

The police said only 35 of 39 militants re-entered to Thailand on Aug. 16.

An investigator said the 11 "Red-shirts" militants were arrested while they were rehearsing the plan to assassinate leading politicians, including the former Deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban.

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