Thai police officer killed in clashes with protesters

Thai police officer killed in clashes with protesters

BANGKOK - One police officer was killed and at least 96 anti-government protesters and journalists and 28 police officers were injured after violence erupted at the Bangkok Youth Centre (Thai-Japan) aka the Thai-Japanese Stadium yesterday, according to the state emergency medical service agency.

The Public Health Ministry reported yesterday that at least one protester had undergone surgery after being shot in the head.

Police General Hospital director Police Lt-General Jongjet Aojenpong said Police Sgt-Major Narong Pitisitthi, 45, died after being shot in right chest.

He lost a lot of blood on the way to the hospital.

Doctors tried to give him artificial respiration but he succumbed.

Pol Maj-General Piya Uthaiyo, the spokesman for the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), said injured police officers were sent to General Police Hospital after clashes with protesters at the Thai-Japanese Stadium. Police Lance Corporal Thanapol Nopluay, 25, who was shot on his right shoulder during the clashes later underwent surgery.

Police Senior Sgt-Major Preecha Thongpiam, 42, Sgt-Major Tawee Wongchan, 40, were hospitalised after being injured during the tear gas attacks and after unknown objects were thrown at them.

At noon, Piya said two more officers, injured by ping-pong bombs, were still inside the centre.

Saying that the poll numbers draw has been completed, he asked protesters why they were still trying to break into the centre where the draw took place in the morning.

Police resorted to firing tear gas at the protesters at the stadium yesterday morning.

As of 2pm yesterday, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)'s Erawan Emergency Medical Service Centre reported that all the injured people had been sent to seven hospitals in Bangkok. Of the injured, 35 injured protesters were sent to Rajvithi Hospital while 10 were sent to Ramathibodi, seven to Police General Hospital, three to Pramongkut Hospital, three to Veterans General Hospital, two to Paolo Hospital, and one to Phyathai hospital.

According to the Public Health Ministry, one of the injured protesters, who was hit by a bullet in the head, underwent brain surgery at Rajvithi hospital. He later was identified as the security guard of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee. Two other protesters were shot by rubber bullets and suffered after-effects of the tear gas.

At least two local reporters from Thairath TV and ASTV were also injured in the clashes.

A reporter from Thairath TV was affected by the tear gas and a cameraman from ASTV was hit by a rubber bullet. A Japanese reporter was hit by unknown objects on his face.

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