Thai soldier killed in Red Shirts-security forces clash

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Bangkok, Apr 29(ANI): One soldier was killed and at least 18 people were injured during a standoff in Thailand between security forces and the anti-government demonstrators, also known as the Red Shirts.

The soldier was reportedly killed by a shot fired by a member of the security forces.

Violence took place 40 kilometres from Bangkok, where thousands of Red Shirts, supporters of exiled former Premier Thaksin Shinawatra, arrived in a convoy of pick-up trucks and motorbikes to stage a rally as part of the opposition leadership's attempts to widen protests across the city.

The army said it used real bullets during the standoff, as protesters hurled rocks at soldiers and tried to remove razor wire blocking their access.

Security forces said they had also seized 62 M79 grenades from suspected Red Shirts riding a motorcycle towards the area where the confrontation occurred, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The Red Shirts want Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to stand down and declare elections, saying he took power without any legitimate mandate.

Thaksin was ousted by a military coup in 2006 and Abhisit was installed a few years later after army-engineered parliamentary machinations removed political parties supportive of Thaksin.

Abhisit insists he wants to end the conflict peacefully, but there is no clear indication of how he plans to do this, particularly since he called off negotiations with the Red Shirts days ago.

Thailand is reeling from its worst political violence in almost two decades in the capital, where 27 people have died and almost 1,000 have been injured this month in a series of bloody confrontations. (ANI)

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