Thai Army Opens Fire; Protesters Strip

Three journalists wounded in day of street fighting
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2010 9:29 AM CDT
Updated May 14, 2010 10:41 AM CDT
An anti-government demonstrator takes off his clothes against Thai soldiers in downtown Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, May 14, 2010. Troops fired bullets and tear gas at anti-government protesters rioting...   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
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(Newser) – A Canadian cameraman was one of three journalists wounded today as Thai troops fired on anti-government protesters and explosions thundered in the heart of Bangkok. An army push to clear the streets and end a two-month political standoff sparked the clashes, the AP reports. The cameraman, Nelson Rand, working for a French TV station, was "gravely wounded" when he was struck by three bullets, AFP reports.

Today's unrest began when protesters captured and vandalized two military water cannon trucks at a key intersection in the business district, just outside the Red Shirt encampment. They ripped the cannon from its moorings and used its plastic barrel to shoot firecrackers from behind a sandbag bunker they had commandeered from soldiers, the AP reports. Soldiers used a loudspeaker to send a message to the Red Shirts: "We are the people's army. We are just doing our duty for the nation. Brothers and sisters, let's talk together." But a group of aggressive young protesters approached them on motorcycles and on foot, shouting obscenities and taunting them by taking off their clothes.

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