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Thai police officer killed in clashes with anti-government protesters

Published time: December 26, 2013 07:22
Edited time: December 26, 2013 12:48

Riot policemen run after anti-government protesters trying to enter the Thai-Japan youth stadium in central Bangkok December 26, 2013.(Reuters / Chaiwat Subprasom)

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Thai police say an officer has been killed during an anti-government rally in the country’s capital, Bangkok. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets on protesters who attempted to halt planning for the February elections over the controversial security law.

The officer died after being airlifted to hospital, and it hasn’t been confirmed yet how he lost his life. Earlier, police reported that he had been hit by a bullet during the clashes.

97 people were injured, 25 of them police officers.

The law that the crowds are protesting against allows security forces to ban rallies, block roads, impose curfews and conduct searches.

The protesters vented their anger at current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who, they say, is a puppet of her self-exiled brother, ex-premier and telecommunications billionaire, Thaksin Shinawatra.

A snap election has been called for February 2, following mass protests that saw 200,000 people take to the streets of Bangkok.

On Thursday, a stone-throwing crowd gathered outside a Bangkok sports stadium where Thailand's Election Commission was working through the process of registering candidates from at least 27 parties for the February election.

Thai anti government protesters clash with riot policemen during a rally at a stadium to register party-list candidates in Bangkok on December 26, 2013.(AFP Photo / Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)

Police warned the demonstrators to refrain from entering the building, and then fired teargas and rubber bullets when the mob tried to break the fence.

The latest clashes that have seen 7 people injured have occurred in spite of the police’s policies towards the protesters, security officials indicated.

"We have warned them and informed them every time before firing teargas," National Security Council head, Paradorn Pattanathabutr, told Reuters.

Protesters, in their turn, are prepared for the harsh response: they carry goggles and masks to cover their faces in case of a crackdown, as well as bottles of water to wash their eyes out.

Thai anti government protesters clash with riot policemen during a rally at a stadium to register party-list candidates in Bangkok on December 26, 2013. (AFP Photo / Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)

Thailand’s government has rejected a call from the Election Commission to delay the February-2 poll “until mutual consent [is reached] between all related parties”.

"The February-2 election will go ahead," Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana said in a televised address. "There is no law allowing the government to delay the election."

The protesters pledged to disrupt the election and make Yingluck step down, demanding an unelected “people’s council” to govern before the elections are called.

The country's main and quite strong opposition party is allied with the protesters. The opposition is boycotting the elections, complicating the situation for the current government.

Thaksin Shinawatra has been in self-imposed exile since 2008. Yingluck’s first two years of rule were calm, until November when she attempted to lobby an amnesty bill that would see her brother return to Thailand as a free man.

Thai anti government protesters carry an injured from gunshot during a rally at a stadium to register party-list candidates in Bangkok on December 26, 2013. (AFP Photo / Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)

Comments (18)

 

Daniel Klasson 29.12.2013 02:09

tapani sydanmetsa 27.12.2013 06:10

this mob is AGAINST democracy and by that defames the monument.

  


Fascists demonstrating for a military coup at democracy monument. Gotta love the irony if it weren't for the fact that it's freaking scary.

 

Spencer Giesea 27.12.2013 11:10

Could I come for a visit?
I love your food! You respect children and women right? I did like the drug laws. And I respect the KING I got a wonderful feeling there this year!

Love you

 

tapani sydanmetsa 27.12.2013 06:10

I stay here in Bangkok close to the Democracy Monument as I did during the "Red Shirt"-demonstr ations. I found Redshirts much more symphatique than these dirt spreading whistlers and shouters today whose leader was behind the killings of the afore mentioned and preaches against corruption in spite of being it himself. this mob is AGAINST democracy and by that defames the monument.

View all comments (18)
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