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Thousands of Red Shirts protest in Bangkok

Thousands of red-shirted anti-government protesters gathered on Sunday in Bangkok's old quarter to mark the one-year anniversary of a violent confrontation with the military in which 26 people were killed and more than 800 wounded.

world Updated: Apr 11, 2011 00:40 IST

Thousands of red-shirted anti-government protesters gathered on Sunday in Bangkok's old quarter to mark the one-year anniversary of a violent confrontation with the military in which 26 people were killed and more than 800 wounded.

“We are mourning the loss of innocent lives a year ago. We are remembering the violence against Thai people last year. We are asking for justice,” Nattawut Saikua, a protest leader, told Reuters in an interview. No one has been declared responsible for the violence that began on April 10 last year when soldiers fought with thousands of protesters near the Phan Fah bridge and Rajdumnoen Road in Bangkok, near government buildings and the regional UN headquarters.

The red-shirted supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a graft-convicted populist billionaire ousted in a 2006 coup, said they would continue to hold protests until the government takes responsibility for the violence.

Five soldiers and 21 civilians were killed, including Reuters television cameraman Hiro Muramoto, a 43-year-old Japanese national, on April 10 last year. Witnesses reported seeing flashes of gunfire from troops but the government blamed civilian deaths on shadowy, unidentified black-clad gunmen who were filmed in the area.

“Today we pay tribute to Hiro's life but remain discouraged that the circumstances of his death are still unknown a year later. Hiro's family and Reuters colleagues deserve to know how this tragedy occurred and who was behind it,” said Stephen Adler, Reuters editor-in-chief.