Protesters seeking to topple Thailand’s government stayed off the street on Friday after halting their demonstration the day before out of respect for the king on his birthday but clashes were reported overnight, one at the occupied Finance Ministry. After a brief lull in the political confrontation in Bangkok came to an end minutes after His Majesty the King′s Birthday when an anti-government protester was shot by unknown individuals at Ministry of Finance. The assailants quickly fled the scene, and the protesters who witnessed the scene could not identify the type of the motorcycle used by the attackers. Mr. Banchong, the man who was shot, was later sent to Rajavithi Hospital; his condition is described as stable.
Police stepped aside on Tuesday and allowed them in, defusing the confrontation. The protesters stayed only briefly in the grounds of the offices they had been trying to storm before pulling back to their rally sites.
Five people have died in the political violence since last weekend, all apparently in clashes between pro- and anti-government supporters. Scores have been wounded, most through inhaling teargas
Thai anti-government protesters on Friday set a new deadline for bringing down the government, vowing that December 9 was an auspicious time for all of their supporters to join a final push for victory. Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy prime minister in a government led by the pro-establishment Democrat Party, told a rally the people had to take back power from what he called the illegitimate “Thaksin regime”. “Victory is measured by the number of people who are willing to fight together which is why we have to set a deadline. On Monday, December 9 this business has to stop,” Suthep said.
People who wanted to protect the core institutions of the monarchy and religion should join the protest at the auspicious time of 9:39 a.m. on Monday, Suthep said. He urged people to come to Bangkok from the provinces to help.
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