Protest leader shot dead, 10 injured in clash with red shirts: A Thai core protest leader was shot dead and 10 others injured in a clash with red-shirt supporters near a polling station in eastern Bangkok on Sunday, according to reports.
Suthin Tharathin, a leader of the People’s Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism (Pefot) led a group of anti-government protesters under the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) to a polling station at Wat Sri lam that was open for advance voting about 11:30am Sunday.
Mr Suthin negotiated with the director of the polling station, who agreed to close down operations. The protesters then prepared to leave the station.
They had gone only a short distance when they saw over 50 red-shirt supporters waiting for them, and the protesters tried to avoid them.
Gunshots were fired from among the red-shirt supporters and a bomb was heard, said a Bangkok Post report.
Suthin was rushed, along with several other injured, to a nearby hospital, but he died from wounds to the head and neck.
The other injured protesters were described as being in stable condition.
PDRC spokesman Akanat Promphan, a stepson of PDRC secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban, said the government and its supporters must be held responsible for the “brutal attacks on innocent protesters”.
On Sunday night, Mr Suthep appealed to military leaders to provide safety for demonstrators in the wake of the violence, said reports.
‘’I appeal to all three armed forces leaders to come out and protect innocent people who fight (against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra) with their hands,’’ Mr Suthep told the crowd at the main rally stage at Pathumwan.
He added, “We don’t want them to seize power or stage a coup. We only need their security protection as we have lost trust in the police’’.
Protesters successfully blocked advance voting in 48 of 50 districts in Bangkok on Sunday, as well as in 10 other provinces in Thailand. The advance voting was being held for the scheduled February 2 election.