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Bangkok clashes: Pictures, Videos and Twitter reports

From the twitpic page of wassayos

Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will not back down as he ordered the military to continue the operations against Red Shirt protesters in Bangkok. Abhisit insists the violent dispersal of protesters is justified to bring back stability in the capital. He also accused a minority of Red Shirt “terrorists” of trying to instigate more violence in the country.

The Red Shirts have been protesting in the streets for the two months already. They are demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister whom they accuse of being illegitimate and undemocratic. They also want the Prime Minister to dissolve the parliament and call for new elections. There were negotiations to settle the protest peacefully but they bogged down a few days ago.

The initial members of the Red Shirt movement were supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra but today the Red Shirt is also composed of groups and individuals who want democratic reforms in Thai society.

What happened in Bangkok in the past 24 hours? Here is a timeline of events provided by the The Thai Report

11:00 – Red leader: Conflict has come too far to negotiate…
11:45 – Civilians hit by sniper fire…
12:00 – “People grabbing food like crazy” in Bangkok Tops…
12:15 – Assassination rumors…
12:15 – Army snatches another body…
12:15 – Heavy sniper fire in Lumpini Park…
12:30 – Bodies disappearing…
12:45 – Injured for 30 minutes before died…
14:00 – Flash cameras draw gunfire…
14:15 – Protesters buildup defenses…
14:30 – Reporters being banned from conflict zone…
15:15 – Protesters advance towards troops on Rama IV…
15:15 – Japanese embassy staff trapped…
15:45 – 7 lifeless bodies spotted outside hotel…
16:20 – Lots of gunfire around Rajprasong…
16:30 – Australian tourists trapped in hotel…
16:30 – U.S. embassy offers to evacuate families of staff…
16:35 – Huge explosions rock Bon Kai…
17:00 – CRES complains about “distorted international media”…
17:05 – Shot in the head while rescuing injured…
17:10 – 1,000 peaceful reds will walk to Rama IV…
18:45 – Government: Don’t blame us…
18:45 – Red shirts demand ceasefire…
18:50 – “Military isn’t going to take its toys and go home”…
23:00 – Death toll at 22…
23:15 – The fury outside my window…
23:45 – New weapon, mortar shells…
23:50 – Media asked to leave Silom, military action expected…
00:10 – Report of police fighting soldiers…
00:50 – Monks pray for peace at Victory Monument…
01:00 – Deployment of more soldiers…
01:40 – Sniper fire still heard…
02:05 – Policeman says military ready to make an offensive…
03:00 – 24 dead, 180 injured and the vast majority are civilians…
03:45 – PM Abhisit “No turning back”…

From the twitpic page of DeanOut

Burning tires and grenade blasts have rocked the Red Shirt protest zone. Here is a citizen video footage

Eyewitness accounts have been uploaded on the web. For example, Nick Nostitz was inside the “killing zone”. Vaitor and Riding out the Economy also posted their observations of the clashes. A Facebook user posted this entry, “What should I feel when I wake up one day with the dead bodies of Thais in front of my house?” But netizens are questioning the authenticity of this expose. Are they fake dead bodies?

Tweetphoto from aleithead

Kishen, writing for New Mandala, is worried about the social, political and economic impact of the ongoing clashes

But everyone is fighting it out without considering the enormous economic and political ramification to Thailand as a whole. Thailand’s economic growth for the year will be badly hampered if matters prolong. As it is this year’s drought will have a telling impact on country’s exports of agri-produce.

As such, the wounds inflicted on Thailand’s psyche and image in the next few days could have a lasting impact on Thailand future growth as a nation. That’s a greater wound that all the grenades, .308 bullets and armoured personal carriers can inflict on the Thai people

Another citizen video of the clashes between soldiers and protesters

News in Bangkok speculates that journalists were deliberately targeted by snipers

I suspected that the shooting of the reporters seemed intentional. I suspected that the intentional targeting of reporters were to prevent them from filming the carnage. I now feel more confident that I am right.

"Peaceful protesters, not terrorists." Twitpic by bretonbkk

Jon, via Greg to Differ, writes about the role of social media in monitoring the Bangkok clashes

Social media has played a major role in reporting the details of the Bangkok protests across the world. Powerful images, compelling video footage, personal accounts and opinion have been amplified by Twitter, Facebook and blogs to the point where social media is a valuable accompaniment to media reports.

Tweetphoto by naelkung

A street scene in Bangkok showing Red Shirt protesters in action

Twitter reactions about the raging urban battles in Bangkok

ellymedan: Please don't believe what you see on CNN about #Thailand. Very pro the #redshirt who has taken #Bangkok hostage
sutatip_b: RT @BangkokBill: In light of everything last night I think it is now fair to say that there is a #redshirt protest and a redshirt insurgency
seacorro: Has anyone actually seen with their own eyes a #redshirt with a gun or more to the point firing one? Ive seen makeshift weapons onl
tulpin: i guess the #redshirt leaders will hold people hostage like this and try to find a way to flee the scene when they have the opportunity

Tweetphoto by aleithead

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