[Death] Toll rises to 21 dead, 858 injured [in Thailand]

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010
By Manassa Manorat, Thanawat Jintasukhon
The Nation

Some 21 people were killed and 858 others injured in violent clashes between soldiers and redshirt demonstrators on Saturday night, a government medical service centre said yesterday.

Bangkok's Erawan Centre announced a further death yesterday evening after an earlier Public Health Ministry announcement which reported 20 deaths, five of whom were soldiers.

At Armyrun Phra Mongkul Hospital, 30 soldiers were being treated for critical wounds. They included four in a "worrying condition", senior officer Col Pheeraphol Pokpong said.

A total of 216 soldiers sustained injuries in clashes with red shirts at various locations in Bangkok. Around 100 of them were discharged after receiving treatment.

The bodies of 10 of the dead were at Central Hospital, including that of a Japanese photographer shot in the abdomen. The police forensic service is due to do autopsies on these.

Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanavisit dismissed claims that slow reporting of casualties by hospitals treating wounded people was an attempt to cover up information. He said delays stemmed from the scale of the emergency.

Redshirt demonstrators said both rubber and real bullets were fired at them during clashes. Jamroon Pakhamin, 40, said he found and collected real bullets at the scene after he was shot by rubber bullets.

Central Hospital director Phitchaya Narkwatchara said a 54yearold man was the latest casualty. Monchai saeJong succumbed to lung failure after inhaling tear gas. He was the eighth death at that hospital.

At Phra Mongkut Hospital, Lieutenant Aniwan Phimthong said he was wounded by objects thrown at him while on duty guarding a road near the UN building in Bangkok. His cheek was cut by glass from after a bottle hit his helmet.

Sgt Major Suksawas Sawasdee, assigned to guard the Thaicom ground control station in Pathum Thani, said he suffered an injured left knee after being run over by a group of protestors who brought into the site. He is currently unable to walk.


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