Two killed in Bangkok gun battle

A medical center says two people have been killed in political street violence in the Thai capital of Bangkok.

Both were killed in what the government described as a clash between demonstrators and neighborhood residents enraged at their violent protests.

The center said a series of clashes Monday — mostly between protesters and soldiers — left more than 100 injured.

Thousands of troops fired warning shots and tear gas at the protesters who rampaged across the city in their bid to oust the prime minister.

The political unrest that seized the Thai capital on Monday claimed its first fatality in what the government described as an evening gunbattle between protesters and city residents enraged at their violent disruption.

The scuffle came after a day of clashes between the protesters — who are pressing for the ouster of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva_ and thousands of troops across the city. Troops fired warning shots and tear gas at the demonstrators and finally forced most to retreat and regroup near their stronghold around the prime minister's offices.

For more than 12 hours, red-shirted protesters — most of whom are supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra — and the soldiers locked in a series of running street battles across Bangkok that left at least 79 people injured.

Security forces had appeared to be pushing the protesters into a smaller area, but by late afternoon street fighting had broken out in several neighborhoods between normal citizens and the protesters.

But an early evening gunbattle at a market in one residential area near the prime minister's offices left one man dead, said Minister of the Prime Minister's Office Sathit Wongnongtoey.

Dr. Chatri Charoenchivakul of the official Erawan Emergency Coordination Center said the victim was shot in the chest and two other people were wounded by gunshots.

Malls and shops were shuttered and official celebrations for the Thai new year were canceled. More than a dozen countries, including the United States, issued travel warnings urging citizens to avoid trips to Thailand and for those already in Bangkok to stay in their hotels and away from the protests.

The violence threatens to slash tourism revenue and could lead to the loss of 200,000 jobs in the industry that directly employs about 2 million people, said Kongkrit Hiranyakit, chairman of the Tourism Council of Thailand.

It is also likely to give pause to foreign businesses considering building factories or making other investments — especially since it comes just months after a group of rival protesters occupied the capital's airports for a week, stranding thousands of tourists and businessmen and sending the economy into a tailspin.

Clashes erupted between protesters and residents in at least three areas earlier.

In a Muslim-dominated neighborhood on Phahon Yothin road, a clash between protesters and residents erupted. Hundreds of protesters threw objects at residents, burnt tires, went into the mosque and tried to set some food stalls in the area on fire. Residents came out with wooden sticks and a fight broke out.

In the evening, three women wearing red shirts were beaten up by at least six drunken men about a few kilometers from Government House, said Police Spokesman Col. Suporn Pansua.

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
News
news

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

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

Senior Data Analyst - London - £38,000

£30000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Data Analyst - Lon...

Norwegian Speaking Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive OTE: SThree: Progressive in Manchester...

IT Support Analyst - London - £22,000

£20000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chel...

Learning Support Assistants-Nantwich area

£8 - £9 per hour: Randstad Education Chester: We are currently recruiting for ...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London