January 24, 2014 00:00 By Seksanti Kalayanawisut
Red-shirt leader Kwanchai "Praipana" Sarakham is recovering after undergoing surgery to treat gunshot wounds he sustained in an attack in his stronghold, Udon Thani province, on Wednesday.
Speaking in his first interview since the attack, Kwanchai said at a hospital that he would continue his political tasks. He said the gunmen were professional and sent to kill him. “I took the first bullet in my right arm, and a later round in my leg, before I ducked under a desk and the gunmen continued firing. They fled, thinking I was dead.”
Kwanchai, who is still in intensive care protected by four guards, said he learnt from his wife that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had called to comfort him, and offered to provide him with treatment at a Bangkok hospital he partly owns. “But I turned down the offer, because protesters might blockade the hospital. But I am protected here by red-shirt people,” he said. Investigators said the motives behind the shooting could have stemmed from either Kwanchai’s personal or political conflicts. Four teams of police officers have been set up to work on the case.