Gunfire Exchanged Near PCAD and Red Rallies

BANGKOK — Anti-government protest guards engaged in a brief gun battle with unidentified assailants near a Redshirt rally on Chaeng Wattana Road in a Bangkok suburb today.

The clash erupted after approximately 150 members of the pro-government People's Radio for Democracy (PRD) marched from their headquarters in Nonthaburi province to the Constitutional Court's office on Chaeng Wattana Road to protest the court's alleged bias against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Scores of anti-government protesters led by the People's Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State (PCAD) were also staging their own rally in front of the Government Complex near the Constitutional Court. 

Police officers quickly formed lines to separate the two groups. The Redshirts later announced an end to their rally and began heading back to Nonthaburi province.

However, as the Redshirts were marching out of the area, gunshots rang out near the office of TOT Public Company, sending PRD activists and soldiers stationed in the vicinity to scramble for shelter. Several shots were later fired in reply by unidentified individuals.

Police officers said they found one bullet hole penetrating the window of a coffee shop opposite the TOT office. No injury has been reported, and no arrest has been made.  

Pol.Col. Pipob Sukkam, a deputy commander of Thoong Song Hong Police Station, said the first shots were fired from the direction of PCAD guards who were watching the Redshirts.

Pol.Col. Pipob believes the guards may have felt threatened by the presence of rival Redshirt activists and a group of undercover police officers who were gathering intelligence reports in the area. The PCAD guards may have fired their weapons in order to drive the groups away, Pol.Col. Pipob said. 



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