Thai protesters vow to seize Bangkok after New Year: Thailand anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Saturday vowed to “seize Bangkok” after the New Year’s holiday break.
Speaking from the protesters’ stage at Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Mr. Suthep told his crowd of supporters that after they return from visiting their families over the holidays, they should come back to take over the capital and return power to the people.
“I ask my brothers and sisters in various provinces to be prepared and help us seize Bangkok, said the former Democrat Party powerbroker now turned anti-government protest leader.
He told the crowd, “Wait for our signal and bring your clothes and food with you because we’ll fight for months until we achieve victory”.
“As for my brothers and sisters in Bangkok, we will not leave an inch of this capital city for the people of the Thaksin regime to stay in and take advantage of the people,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday morning in a pre-dawn attack, one security guard for an anti-government protesting group was shot dead and three others were wounded when unidentified gunmen attacked the site at 3:30am.
Following the attack, Yutthana Ong-art, reportedly about 30 years of age, was taken to Klang Hospital but was later pronounced dead from a gunshot to the torso, said a spokesman for the Erawan Emergency Centre.
The three injured were also guards for the anti-government protesting group called the Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand (NSPRT). They are Prawit Thongpraeng, Surapong Somklaew and Saneh Lohasart, said a Bangkok Post report.
The incident occurred when a golden bronze Toyota car arrived at the protest site, rolled down a back seat window and opened fire with an M-16 rifle at the guards, who were on duty behind a stage used by the protesters, said reports.
A co-leader of the anti-government protesting group said the attack showed there were certain people who wanted to incite unrest to discredit a protest that has been carried out peacefully without the use of any weapons.
Police are investigating the incident.
The fatality was the third death of the week related to the protests. On Thursday, one police officer and one protester were killed by gunshot wounds during a clash at the Thai-Japanese Stadium where election preparations were taking place.
It is unclear who fired the fatal shots, but both sides accused a “third hand”of trying to incite further unrest, said reports.
This week’s deaths bring the total to eight killed and over 300 injured since the anti-government protests began two months ago.