Red shirt military advisor wounded in Bangkok

The chief military advisor of Thailand's anti-government protesters was injured in the head, after an explosion and bursts of automatic gunfire were heard near Bangkok's business district today.

Khattiya Sawasdipol, a suspended army specialist in charge of security at an encampment occupied by thousands of "red shirt" demonstrators, was admitted to an intensive care ward after being shot, said the state Narenthorn Emergency Medical Service.



It had no other details.



Khattiya, better known as "Seh Daeng" (Commander Red) enjoys a cult following among some red shirts and soldiers, but has been dubbed a "terrorist" by Thailand's government, which accuses him of involvement in dozens of grenade attacks that have injured more than 100 people.



The army had earlier said it was planning a huge lockdown around the fortified encampment of the red shirts, who have defied warnings to end their five-week occupation of an upmarket Bangkok shopping district.



The Thai military said it would deploy armoured vehicles and shut roads surrounding thousands of defiant protesters on Thursday, forcing businesses to evacuate workers as tensions rise in the deadliest political crisis in two decades.



The army said its armoured vehicles will bolster checkpoints, stopping protesters from entering the area, and urged businesses on roads leading into the protesters' 1.2 square mile fortified encampment to close tomorrow.



Army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said authorities tasked with resolving the crisis will also seek cabinet approval to invoke a state of emergency in 15 northern and northeastern provinces, which are stronghold of protesters to prevent any mobilisation.







The mostly rural and urban poor protesters refused to leave as their leaders challenged the government from behind medieval-like walls made from tyres and wooden staves soaked in kerosene and topped by razor wire.



The government estimated the crowd size at 10,000 but Reuters witnessses put it at more than 20,000.



"We will send out groups to surround these vehicles to prevent them from advancing," Jatuporn Prompan, a protest leader, told supporters. "We believe the army will try to crack down this evening or tomorrow morning."



Companies and embassies across the area told employees to leave work early and activated back-up plans for tomorrow. Several stations in an elevated train system were shutting early. Public transportation was being diverted from the area.



The mood at the protest site turned quickly in the afternoon from festive to tense. Leaders took turns on the stage to call for more protesters to come to the encampment, chanting "come out, come out" and threatening to lay siege to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's house and an infantry barracks where he has taken refuge if there is a crackdown.



Abhisit is under enormous pressure to end the two-month crisis that has killed 29 people, wounded more than 1,000, paralysed parts of Bangkok and slowed growth in Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy.



But analysts and an army source close to Army Chief Anupong Paochinda said an immediate crackdown is unlikely despite the threats.



"It's hard to say if or when the crackdown will be because we have to evaluate by the hour. We don't want casualties so we have to keep the pressure up so people are too tired to resist.



"Casualties will be bad for us as well."



Analysts said potentially high casualties have prevented the army from going in.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone