18 wounded in standoff between Thai security forces and protesters; Authorities take Red Shirts' PTV off air again [PHOTO/VIDEO]
People's Channel (PTV), affiliated with the red-shirted anti-government protesters in Thailand, was removed from air again on Friday, following the supporters of the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) had stormed the satellite earth station of Thaicom and forced the authorities to reverse an earlier decision to suspend broadcast.
Army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said security forces had returned to the station late on Friday after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had instructed that PTV be blocked.
"We retreated today because we did not want any loss of life or to hurt anyone," Sansern said shortly before midnight on Friday. "But the station is inciting violence and spreading false information and rumors to the detriment of the country."
Friday's clash was the first violent yet during the ongoing mass demonstrations by the Red Shirts, although the security forces eventually pulled back rather than risk bloodshed.
Fourteen protesters, three police and a soldier were wounded. One of the red-shirted demonstrators suffered a gunshot wound, presumably from a rubber bullet. Others had minor scrapes.
Security forces had fired water cannon and tear gas in a bid to prevent thousands of Red Shirts to push their way into the compound of the Thaicom Pcl satellite station in Pathum Thani, about 60 km north of Bangkok.
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