Thai soldiers with armored vehicles stormed into a fortified encampment occupied by anti-government protesters Wednesday, breaking through bamboo-and-tire barricades in a major military offensive in the heart of Bangkok.
At least two protesters were killed and one foreign journalist appeared dead after getting shot in the chest. Two other foreign journalists were wounded by bullets.
Surreal scenes of warfare erupted in one of the ritziest parts of the capital, as troops armed with M-16s marched through the central business district past upscale apartment buildings to retake the area around manicured Lumpini Park, which has been under the control of protesters camped there for weeks.
Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn declared the first stage of the army operation to secure the area around Lumpini Park successful and said that some protest leaders had fled. He asked the public to inform police if any of the leaders were spotted.
However, two of the three key leaders remained in the protest zone giving defiant speeches and singing on a stage, as troops drew closer. [...]
This is just the beginning the world over folks.
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Sic vis pacem para bellum