Thai Security Forces Crackdown on Protesters

By Kate Pound Dawson

Bangkok (RPRN) 13 April 2009-Sporadic gunfire was heard in several parts of the Thai capital Monday, as security forces begin to crackdown on anti-government protesters.Thai security forces fire in the air to push anti-government protesters back from a blockade Monday. The mid-day clash in Bangkok was just one in a series between security forces and protesters.

The red-clad protesters, who support former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, demand that the current government resign and call new elections. Mr. Thaksin was ousted in a coup in 2006 and now lives in exile.

Before dawn Monday, troops fired guns over the heads of protesters in one location in an attempt to clear an intersection. About 70 people were injured in that clash.

Throughout the day, protesters commandeered buses and cars to block intersections and set them on fire. They have lobbed stones and fire bombs at security forces.

The government has appealed for calm and asked the protesters to return to their homes.

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