Violence in Thailand is escalating despite government troops attempts to gain control and restore calm to the capital Bangkok.The city has become a virtual warzone, with soldiers firing live rounds on protesters who have commandeered buses. The crackdown between authorities and anti-government demonstrators has seen running battles. Some of the worst violence took place at a major junction in the capital, where clashes reportedly caused at least 77 injuries, including 4 people with gunshot wounds. Authorities claim they were forced to act after protesters set a bus alight, later throwing stones and petrol bombs at troops who were trying to put the fire out. The unrest has resulted in a state of emergency being declared. This government spokesman said: “We would like to reassure you Thai citizens and foreigner nationals that the emergency decree is designed to protect your safety and your security’‘ The protesters want the country’s former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra re-instated. He has repeated his call from exile for a people’s revolution. The chaos has raised fears the violence will result in the military trying to oust current prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. Despite Thailand seeing 18 coups since the 1930’s he insists his government is still in charge.
Running battles in Thai capital