Thai authorities say two people have died in violent anti-government
demonstrations that have turned Bangkok into a battlefield.
Officials say they were killed Monday in a fight between protesters and residents near Government House.
An activist earlier said that six people had been killed by soldiers, but the claim could not be independently verified.
More than 100 people have been injured in running battles between
security forces and protesters who spent Monday hurling homemade bombs
at soldiers and setting fire to buses.
Soldiers have used warning shots, tear gas and water cannons to push
the demonstrators back to Government House, the main rallying point for
the supporters of deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The protesters are demanding the current prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, step down and call elections.
The U.S. State Department condemned the protesters' violence Monday, calling it "unacceptable".
A State Department spokesman (Robert Wood) said he is sure
U.S. diplomats have discussed the situation with Thai authorities, and
that Bangkok knows Washington wants to see an end to the crisis.
The European Union has also expressed "great concern" and called for a peaceful resolution of the situation.
The protesters have been spurred on by Mr. Thaksin, who is living in
exile outside the country. He called Sunday for a revolution, and
suggested he might return to Thailand to lead a new government.
Thailand has been mired in political upheaval since the military
deposed Mr. Thaksin in 2006, accusing him of corruption and abuse of
Since then, a power struggle between his supporters and opponents has made it difficult for any leader to keep his seat.
Mr. Abhisit, Thailand's third prime minister in a year, insists his government is still in control.
The unrest disrupted the start of the Thai New Year, and has threatened
the economy. Several countries have issued travel warnings for
Thailand, dealing a blow to its tourism industry.