Troops have ended a sit-in protest that paralysed part of Bangkok. Anti-government leaders have surrendered.
But the unrest that followed has been described as the “most widespread and most uncontrollable” political violence Thailand has ever seen.”
At least six people died in the clashes at the camp, including an Italian photojournalist.
The Red Shirt movement had occupied this part of the capital’s commercial district for more than six weeks.
Determined to defy the military, one female protester said: “I did not expect it to turn out like this. We were here to demand democracy. We thought we could get it, then we would go home. But if we don’t, we will just stay longer.”
“I won’t stop fighting,” said another demonstrator. “I won’t give up as long as we don’t have justice or democracy. We have a lot of leaders in other provinces.”
And, as news of the crackdown spread, town halls burnt in three northern areas, strongholds of anti-government protesters. In the capital, the Stock Exchange, a TV station and a major shopping complex were all set ablaze.