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A Thai general aligned with the country's Red Shirt anti-government protesters was shot in the head Thursday as security forces surrounded their encampment in downtown Bangkok.
The general, known as Seh Daeng but whose real name is Khattiya Sawasdiphol, was struck while being interviewed by a New York Times reporter, Thomas Fuller. VOA Correspondent Daniel Schearf witnessed the shooting, which took place inside the Red Shirts barricaded rally site. He says it was apparently the work of a sniper.
An Army spokesman, Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd warned earlier that snipers would be deployed as the military prepared to form a blockade around the encampment in an effort to drive out the protesters. Schearf says protesters began setting off fireworks after Seh Daeng was shot while others scrambled to pick up the renegade general and rush him to a hospital, where he is now undergoing treatment.
In ensuing violence, there are reports that Thai troops opened fire on a group of Red Shirt protesters, killing one. At least three other people have been wounded.