A rogue general leading a militant wing of Thai anti-government protesters was shot in the head and critically wounded on Thursday night as armed troops blockaded the site of a five-week rally in central Bangkok.
Khattiya Sawasdipol, a suspended army specialist in charge of security at an encampment occupied by thousands of demonstrators, was rushed to an intensive care ward, the state Narenthorn Emergency Medical Service said, adding that at least four other people were wounded in the same area.
Khattiya, better known as “Seh Daeng” (Commander Red), was dubbed a “terrorist” by Thailand’s government, which accuses him of involvement in dozens of grenade attacks that have wounded more than 100 people.
When he was shot, Khattiya was answering a question about whether the Thai military would be able to penetrate the area.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is under enormous pressure to end the violent political crisis that has killed at least 29 people, wounded more than 1,400, and slowed growth in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy.