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Protester dies of gunshot wound to stomach sustained on Thursday

AN ANTI-GOVERNMENT protester who was shot in the chest and stomach during Thursday's clash at the Bangkok Youth Centre succumbed to his injuries at Phramongkutklao Hospital yesterday, taking the death toll from the incident to two, a doctor said.

The Public Health Ministry reported yesterday that as of 9am about 154 people including protesters, journalists and police had been injured in the clash between police and anti-government protesters at the Bangkok Youth Centre (Thai-Japan), known as the Thai-Japanese Stadium.

Of the injured, 38 remained at eight hospitals in Bangkok. One was being treated at an intensive-care unit.

The second fatality was identified as Wasu Suchantabut, a 30-year-old anti-government protester. He succumbed yesterday at 3.45am, according to Colonel Peeraphon Pokpong, a director of Pramongkut Hospital's Emergency Department.

Wasu underwent surgery on Thursday night after being shot in the stomach with a small-calibre live round during the protest at the centre. He was sent to the hospital at about 2pm on the same day. A medical team found that the bullet entered his stomach and exited through his back. The small bullet damaged his liver, pancreas and right kidney, and severed major blood vessels.

But doctors did not find any bullet fragments inside his body.

The first victim to die was Pol Snr Sergeant Narong Pitisitthi, 45, after he was shot in the right chest. He lost a lot of blood on the way to hospital. Doctors tried to give him artificial respiration but were unable to save him.

Meanwhile, 45-year-old taxi driver Phet Choosrikhwan, who was assaulted by a group of anti-government protesters on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road on Thursday, was undergoing treatment. A scan showed his brain was in good condition, but Phet had bruising on his head.

According to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's Erawan Emergency Medical Service Centre, three people were in a critical condition.

The first was a man who received a gunshot wound to the head and underwent surgery at Rajavithi Hospital.

A second man was struck on the head during a physical assault and admitted to Ramathibodi Hospital.

The third victim, a woman, was shot in the left side of her chest and lung. She was admitted to Phyathai Hospital.

Meanwhile, a security guard for the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee shot in head at the clash at Din Daeng can now respond slightly to doctors' queries and open his eyes after surgery yesterday, according to Rajvithi Hospital director Dr Udon Chaowarin.

Suthirak Khumsom, a rescue volunteer from Ruam Katanyoo Foundation, said he witnessed a 30-year-old female rescue volunteer being shot at around 5pm on Thursday while she was helping to transfer injured people from the stadium's Gate No 3 to Din Daeng Police Station. The bullet pierced the window of the rescue vehicle and struck her in the chest, Suthirak said.

The victim was admitted to Phyathai Hospital, where she is under close observation pending referral to Rajavithi Hospital.

"This is not the first time that a rescue volunteer has been shot during a clash. Even though we are frightened, we have to help others, no matter who they are," Suthirak said.


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