Thailand curfew extended for three nights
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Thailand has imposed a curfew for three more nights in Bangkok and 23 other provinces after a crackdown on anti-government protestors. The ban was first imposed on Wednesday night in a bid to control looting and arson that broke out following the clampdown on the Red Shirt movement.
The new, shortened curfew will run between 9pm and 5am.
It was announced on Thursday as the army denied any involvement in the killing of nine people at a Buddhist temple where thousands of demonstrators were taking shelter.
Authorities said the deaths occurred before security forces reached the temple, which had been designated as a safe zone. Bullet wounds were reportedly visible on the victims’ bodies.
Protestors who sought refuge in the temple overnight were escorted outside by police on Thursday. A police spokesman said that five injured people – including an unnamed British journalist – were taken to hospital by medical workers. The army said it will launch an investigation into the violence.
Meanwhile, a leading rights group has said that both Thai security forces and the army have committed “serious abuses” during the clampdown on rallies in the capital.
At least 45 people have died in clashes since last week, including an Italian freelance photographer. Several other journalists, including a Dutch TV reporter and a Canadian, have also been injured.
"The situation in Bangkok has spun out of control because of wrongful action on both sides," Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at HRW, said in a statement.
"We urge both sides to respect and provide access for emergency medical personnel and fire fighters, cease the unlawful use of lethal force, and ensure safe passage for people trying to flee the violence. Anti-government militants should immediately stop targeting journalists.”
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