Thai policeman killed by live bullet in clash with protesters: One policeman has died from injuries he sustained in this morning’s clash with anti-government protesters outside the Thai-Japanese Stadium in Bangkok, say reports.
Police Sergeant Major Narong Pitisit, 45, of Taladphlu police station, was shot in his right chest with a live bullet and suffered from severe blood loss, said Police General Hospital’s director Police Lieutenant General Jongjet Aojenpong.
The officer was admitted following the clashes with high blood pressure and a faint pulse this morning, and died this afternoon from severe bleeding.
Centre for the Administation of Peace and Order (Capo) spokesman Piya Uthayo also confirmed that the police officer had died.
It is unclear who fired the live shot or where it was fired from, according to reports.
The Capo spokesman also said the helicopter evacuating the policeman from the scene was hit by shots from an airgun, damaging a window.
In addition, it was reported that one protester received a gunshot wound to the head.
At least 48 protesters and two other policemen were injured in this morning’s clashes.
According to the latest reports, all protesters have fled from inside the Thai-Japanese Stadium after police fired more tear gas and rubber bullets at them at 4:30pm this afternoon.
Many of the anti-government protesters were forced to climb a fence of an adjacent Din Daeng Flat building to escape the tear gas and barrage of rubber bullets.
A Nation field reporter also had to run to escape the tear gas, it was reported.
Earlier today, outraged residents in the vicinity said people, including children, have been seriously affected by the tear gas used by police.
They said there are many small children and old people in the community. At least one noted that if the protesters had not incited the police, there would have been no need for the use of tear gas.
The Election Commission completed its task inside the stadium of drawing lots for party-list numbers for the February election this morning, but later today issued a statement recommending the government postpone the election due to the ongoing violence.
The protesters are demanding political reforms before another election is held, but the government insists it would be unconstitutional to postpone the election.
The protesters’ political ally, the Democratic Party, is boycotting the February election, making the ruling Pheu Thai’s victory all but certain.