4 dead, 54 injured in protest clashes


BANGKOK, Dec 1 – Four people have died and 54 were injured in the Ramkhamhaeng clashes, including one soldier, according to the Erawan Emergency Medical Centre.

The four dead are Taweesak Pokaew, 21, shot in the right rib, and Wisanu Paopu, 26, shot in the chest, and Army Pvt Tanasit Viengkham, 22, who died in hospital, while Wirot Khemnak, 43, died at the Institute of Forensic Medicine.

The emergency centre announced the death toll from clashes in demonstrations in the capital as of Sunday afternoon. Those injured were sent to different hospitals in Bangkok.

The Royal Thai Army has dispatched hundreds of soldiers to Ramkhamhaeng University to help some three thousand students stranded in the area since last night following the attacks by an unknown group of gunmen.

The students were escorted by soldiers to board army buses amid tight security.

Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said on his Facebook page that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has joined the army operations in evacuating Ramkhamhaeng students to Wat Praram 9 where they will be provided temporary shelter and food.

Ramkhamhaeng University rector Wuttisak Lapcharoensap said the evacuation must be completed before dark. He affirmed that he had seen hidden snipers targeting students from various locations. However, he said he saw no armed students.

Key leaders of the pro-government Red Shirt movement, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), have announced their calling off the group mass rally at Rajamangala Stadium for safety reasons after clashes resulted in the large number of casualties.

Ramkhamhaeng University has announced its closure until Wednesday or until the situation eases. Students and university staff were asked to leave the campus immediately for their own safety.