A rogue Thai general who helped anti-government protesters and was shot by an unidentified sniper has died from his wounds, raising fears of new violence after five days of street battles that have killed 36 people in downtown Bangkok. Major General Khattiya Sawasdiphol, a renegade army officer accused of creating a paramilitary force for the Red Shirt protesters, died today of gunshot wounds, the Vajira Hospital reported. The death came five days after he was shot in the head by a sniper in downtown Bangkok while talking to journalists inside the perimeter of the protest zone.
The attack on Mr Khattiya, more popularly known as Seh Daeng, triggered widespread street fighting between anti-government protesters and the army in central Bangkok. "Seh Daeng has accomplished his duty. All of us here have the duty to carry on the quest for justice," a Red Shirt leader, Jatuporn Prompan, said. He said that the only hope now to end the violence was intervention by Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The 82-year-old monarch, hospitalised since September, has remained publicly silent on the crisis unlike decades past when he stepped in to stop bloodshed. The Red Shirts have been protesting since mid-March demanding the immediate resignation of the prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the dissolution of Parliament and new elections. *AP