Aggressive political protests in the Thai capital turned violent late today with at least one man killed and five wounded by gunshots in street fighting between supporters and opponents of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. It was not immediately known who fired the shots or what side the victims were on. National Police Deputy Spokesman Anucha Romyanan said the dead man was a 21-year-old male with two bullet wounds.
The demonstrators are seeking to topple Yingluck's government, and the authorities have exercised extreme restraint over the past week as the protesters besieged and occupied parts of various government ministries and offices, aware that using force could tip public opinion and perhaps become an excuse for the military to take power in the name of restoring order. Conventional wisdom in the Thai capital has been that the protesters have been seeking that. The shootings tonight occurred after scattered violence during the day involving government opponents attacking several people they believed were going to a rally at a stadium of "Red Shirt" government supporters. (Read more Thailand stories.)