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First Army Division chief denies setting up taskforce to crackdown on red shirts

First Army Area Division Maj Gen Apirat Kongsompong on Wednesday denied that his division had set up a taskforce in preparation for launching crackdowns on red-shirt protesters.

United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship chairman Jatuporn Prompan said at the red-shirt rally site on Utthayan Road that the Army was preparing to crack down on red-shirt demonstrators and urged them to turn out in larger numbers.

Jatuporn said the First Army Division had received an order to suppress the red-shirts in the same way as had happened in 2010.

But Apirat said his division had been assigned by the Centre for Administration of Peace and Order to ensure security on Utthayan Road and take care of the demonstrators.

Apirat said troops from the Ninth Infantry Division were deployed to guard the demonstrators.

An Army source said Jatuporn made the statement in an attempt to prompt more red shirts to join the demonstration on Utthayan Road, which is now in its fifth day.


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