Death toll at 2 in Thailand violence
Bangkok: An injured anti-government protester succumbed to gunshot wounds today, taking the death toll to two in the latest bout of political violence in Thailand.
Dr Suphan Srithamma of Department of Medical Services, said the man died today.
A police officer was killed and at least 143 people including anti-government protesters, journalists and policemen were injured after violence erupted at the Thai-Japanese Stadium yesterday, according to the state emergency medical service agency.
Police Senior Sergeant Major Narong Pitisitthi, 45, died after being shot in the chest during clashes with the protesters. Thirty of the injured were admitted to hospital and four are in critical condition.
Yesterday, Premier Yingluck Shinawatra`s government rejected the EC`s call to delay the forthcoming elections.
"The Election Commission said holding elections will bring violence but the government believes delaying an election will cause more violence," Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana said.
The opposition Democrat Party has already announced its plans to boycott the polls.
The protesters led by Democrat Party leader Suthep Thaugsuban want Yingluck to quit and have demanded the polls be delayed. They want the government to stand down and be replaced by an un-elected "people`s council".
The protesters have been demanding Yingluck`s resignation since mid-October. The protests began after her government tried to introduce an amnesty bill that would have paved the way for the return of her brother, controversial former premier Thaksin Shinawatra currently in self-exile in Dubai.
A rattled Yingluck called the snap polls, scheduled for February 2, after weeks of protests. But the demonstrators have dismissed the election, and the official opposition has refused to field candidates. Protesters have further rejected another offer by Yingluck to form a national reform council intended to run alongside her government.
Yingluck`s Pheu Thai Party won the last election in 2011 and has a big majority in parliament. However, protesters say her brother Thaksin, who was overthrown in a military coup in 2006, controls the government.
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