On the afternoon and evening of 10 April, violent clashes occurred when government troops unsuccessfully tried to take back control of the Phan Fah bridge protest site. Shots and tear gas grenades were fired near the Makhawan Bridge
close to the United Nations Bangkok Headquarters Building during the afternoon as troops unsuccessfully attempted to take back the protest area. The troops retreated to the Ministry of Education after several hours. Later that evening, the violence escalated on Khao San Road
and at the Khok Wua intersection, with automatic fire, explosions, and tear gas being used. The violence died down by the early morning, with the temporary result being that the military was not able to seize the protest site.
According to the Erawan Bangkok Emergency Medical Service Center, 25 people were killed in the clashes. The dead included Japanese cameraman Hiro Muramoto
, 10 protesters, nine civilians and five uniformed soldiers. The Center noted more than 800 people injured. Autopsies revealed that 9 out of the 10 dead protesters died due to gunshot wounds.The military noted that the uniformed soldiers killed died from cerebral edema
(swelling of the brain) after being hit on the head by thrown rocks. Following the clashes government troops withdrew.
The military initially claimed that it used rubber bullets and tear gas in the clash, while firing live rounds only into the air. However, video footage from the international media showed soldiers firing assault rifles in fully automatic fire mode in the direction of protesters. Protest leaders claimed that a number of protesters were hit by army snipers from nearby buildings. The military later admitted that troops fired live rounds directly at protesters, allegedly shooting only single rounds to protect injured troops retreating from the clashes.Protesters used rocks, sticks, petrol bombs, and according to the military, guns and grenades. Video footage also showed people of an unknown affiliation firing explosives from the tops of buildings.
Protesters seized a large amount of military equipment left behind by retreating troops, including nine M-16
assault rifles, 25 Tavor TAR-21
assault rifles, six .50 caliber
anti-aircraft guns, 116 riot shields, 105 batons and 80 suits of body armour. Troops also abandoned six personnel carriers and three high-mobility multi-purpose vehicles. Ammunition also went missing, including 580 rubber bullet rounds, 600 .50 caliber anti-aircraft rounds, and 8,182 5.56 mm M-16 rifle rounds.
A black day: the toll is 24 people dead and around 850 in hospital. Under the deadly wounded victimes is a free-lance camera man working for Reuters
. He got a shot in his chest. Sky News
One of the actions of the gouvernment was to close 36 Websites, above the thousands already blocked. The military has been accused of firing bullets at the demonstrators according to the BBC
and other sources. April 12, 2012 The Nation: burning issue
April 10, 2010: All culprits must be made accountable
11 April: lit candles commemorating the casualties suffered by the protesters on 10 April Protesters remained unwilling to end their protest, and they vowed to continue their rally until the Prime Minister dissolved the House of Representatives and scheduled elections. One Red-Shirt leader said that after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolves the parliament, he must leave the country as soon as possible. Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said the government has no plans to back down either..... "The government will continue the operation to take back the roads from the protesters because their occupation is unlawful," he said.
© Antoni Uni, el primero UniCo de l'Escala 2017