Protesters, Reporter Killed by Thai Troops
Casualties mount as military storms protest zone
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2010 1:21 AM CDT
Thick black smoke rises behind Chulalongkorn hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.    (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
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(Newser) – At least 3 people were killed as the Thai army stormed barricades surrounding the protest encampment in central Bangkok today. An AP photographer saw 3 wounded journalists, one of whom, an Italian, appeared to be dead. Another reporter who followed troops into the protest zone saw the bodies of 2 protesters. Troops fired on fleeing protesters and shouted: "Come out and surrender or we'll kill you."

A military spokesman called the first stage of the operation to clear the protest zone a success, although 2 Red Shirt leaders remained on a stage as troops closed in, giving speeches and singing protest songs. Buildings near the protest encampment are on fire. The military campaign is expected to continue throughout the day, Reuters reports.