Violence in Bangkok prompts closure of US embassy in Thailand
Friday, May 14, 2010
Philip Crowley, a spokesperson for the US State Department, announced early Thursday morning that the US embassy would be closed to the public due to its location near the violence. The embassy will be operating with a reduced staff and will not offer American citizens services until the conflict is resolved. The British and Dutch embassies in Thailand also halted their services after the Thai government said that it would seal off the area.
The leader of the protests was fugitive Major-General Khattiya Sawasdipol, the radical leader of the militant Red Shirt movement. While giving interviews with foreign journalists, Sawasdipol appeared to have been shot in the head by a sniper. He was later taken to a local hospital for emergency treatment. One other protester, 25-year-old Chartchai Bualao, was killed in the incident, but it is still unclear as to who is responsible for the shooting.
Thai military forces moved in quickly to suppress the protesters just after the shooting, aiming to put down the opposition movement and secure the area in which they had barricaded themselves since early April. The Thai government declared a state of emergency for seventeen of the country's 76 provinces in the wake of the protests.
This incident is only the latest in an ongoing series of violent outbreaks among protesters and the Thai government. The violence is a result of the belief of the protesters that Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva took power through illegitimate means with the support of the Thai military.
- Ahuja, Ambika and Martin Petty. "Rogue general wounded, 1 killed in Bangkok fighting" — , May 13, 2010
- "US closes embassy in Thailand, 'very concerned' about violence" — , May 13, 2010
- "Red Shirt leader shot, protester killed as Thai unrest continues" — , May 13, 2010
- "Bangkok embassies shut in face of protest measures" — , May 13, 2010
- Peck, Grant and Thanyarat Doksone. "Rogue Thai General Aiding Protesters Shot In Head" — , May 13, 2010