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Iran Press TV

Thai policeman, protester die in Bangkok clashes

Iran Press TV

Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:34AM GMT

One Thai police officer and an anti-government protester have been killed during clashes that erupted amid a police operation to clear occupied government buildings in the capital, Bangkok.

Thailand's emergency services said the police officer was shot dead and the protester died from a head wound during the clashes between security forces and protesters on Tuesday.

Nearly 60 people including several police officers were also injured in the scuffles.

The violence broke out after police launched an operation dubbed "Peace for Bangkok" to clear a number of besieged government buildings of protesters in central Bangkok.

Police officers used tear gas to disperse the crowds and multiple gunshots were heard near the prime minister's office, but it was not clear who fired the shots.

Earlier in the day, over 140 protesters were arrested near the Thai Energy Ministry in the northern part of Bangkok.

The police operation came a day after Thai government's special security command center announced that it would mobilize 25,000 police officers to retake five government buildings occupied by anti-government demonstrators for several weeks.

The anti-government protesters demand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down in order for an unelected "people's council" to enact reforms.

Opponents of Yingluck say her administration is actually controlled by her brother and former premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, who fled Thailand in 2008 to avoid a two-year prison sentence over corruption.

Thaksin was toppled in a military coup in 2006. Since then, the former Thai premier has lived in a self-imposed exile.


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