Anti-government protesters set fire to a police bus down the street from Japanese and US embassies in central Bangkok after troops fired tear gas Friday in a burst of new violence after nightlong clashes left one person dead.
The fighting, which so far has claimed 30 lives and injured hundreds since anti-government Red Shirt protesters began camping in the capital on March 12, plunged Thailand deeper into political uncertainty, with both sides hardening their positions.
Maj. Gen. Khattiya Sawasdiphol, who is accused of creating a paramilitary force for the Red Shirts, was shot in the head Thursday evening. He was talking to reporters in Saladeng when the bullet hit him. Khattiya was taken to a hospital in a coma and was in critical condition. The hospital said his brain had swollen and that he was unlikely to survive.
It was not known who shot Khattiya, better known by the nickname Seh Daeng, but the Red Shirts blamed the government.