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Police officer in charge warns of violence during shutdown

Pol Lt-General Sophon Pisutwong, who is in charge of the operations in relation to the "Bangkok shutdown", warned Thursday that some of the 27 missing police guns and ammunition might be used to incite violence on Monday.

Sophon said the weapons - six shotguns that riot-control police used to fire rubber bullets with, 12 teargas launchers, three .38 pistols as well as six police personnel pistols - had gone missing from police trucks during the December 26 clash between anti-government protesters and police force at the Thai-Japanese Stadium. So far, only one 9mm pistol belonging to a Nakhon Sawan police officer has been retrieved and the suspect arrested, he added.

Sophon cited an investigation report into the Din Daeng clash as saying that the spent bullets and cartridges found there and outside the stadium had been fired from 16 pistols of the .32, .38, .45 and 9mm type. Hence, it is believed that 43 guns had been used in the December 26 clash - the 27 allegedly stolen ones and the 16 guns used, he said.

The police officer also warned that the country's glory did not need to come from the cremation flames of the protesters or law enforcers, and hence all sides should join hands to solve the problem.

Saying that police would set up checkpoints to block guns and explosives from being smuggled into the seven key protest sites, he also urged people to alert the police of suspicious looking individuals so as to prevent violence and maintain peace and order. The police will also ensure traffic flow, prepare ambulances, tow trucks and fire engines in case of emergency as well as have police investigators gather evidence and take video and audio recordings.


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