A crowd control police officer is in a critical situation after being shot in the head by unknown assailants at Din Daeng intersection, a senior police officer told Thai Enquirer on Thursday.
Din Daeng has been the site of frequent clashes between police and pro-democracy demonstrators.
The clashes began earlier this year when pro-democracy demonstrators tried to march from the nearby Victory Monument to the prime minister’s residence located near Din Daeng. Since then ongoing street battles have occurred nightly in the area.
The use of live rounds marks an increasing escalation in the area and has prompted concerns from protest leaders and the government.
“The officer was found shot in the head and was taken to Police General Hospital last night,” Police General Krisana Pattanacharoen, the deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, told Thai Enquirer over a phone on Thursday. “He’s in a critical condition, and needs to stay in the ICU for a period of time under close medical care.”
“After sending the injured officer to the hospital, the crowd control police enforced the law to control the situation in the area,” he said. “16 protestors were arrested and confiscated of weapons including ping pong bombs and firecrackers.”
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ocha expressed concern over the situation and instructed doctors to provide full care to the injured officer.
He condemned the use of violence from protesters, stating it’s not a peaceful assembly as there is a destruction of government property and the use of weapons.