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Thai Troops Battle Antigovernment Protesters


Red Shirt protesters assist an injured foreign journalist after he was shot while covering clashes with army soldiers in Bangkok on May 14.

Red Shirt protesters assist an injured foreign journalist after he was shot while covering clashes with army soldiers in Bangkok on May 14.

Thai troops opened fire on rioting antigovernment demonstrators in Bangkok today in an attempt to establish a security cordon around their protest site.

Troops fired rubber bullets, tear gas, and live ammunition at protesters who hurled petrol bombs and launched makeshift rockets at police.

Emergency services said seven people were killed and more than 100 injured in the clashes, adding to some 30 dead and hundreds injured since the protesters, known as Red Shirts, began camping out in the streets of the capital on March 12.

Other reports said at least eight people were dead.

The Red Shirts say Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's coalition government came to power illegitimately and are demanding new elections.

compiled from agency reports
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