Thai "Red Shirts" Commemorate Anniversary of Night of Violence

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People in Thailand are remembering violence that broke out in Bangkok one year ago that left dozens dead and hundreds injured. Known as the "red-shirts," they want the government to take responsibility for the carnage that ensued.

In Thailand, about 40,000 red-shirt anti-government protesters gathered in Bangkok's old quarter on Sunday. They were there to mark the one-year anniversary of violent clashes with the military in which 26 people were killed and more than 800 wounded.

The "red shirts" are mostly rural and urban poor and are supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship.

They took to the streets on March 12 last year demanding elections in festive rallies that descended into violence on April 10.

That day saw five soldiers and 21 civilians killed, including a Reuters television cameraman.

The government says soldiers used live fire only in self-defense and denies soldiers are responsible for any deaths or injuries.

The red-shirts say they will continue to hold protests until the government takes responsibility for the violence.

[Jatuporn Promphan, Red Shirt Leader]:
"In our lifetime, the people who were killed and the people on the side of the slain victims, will never reconcile with murderers."

Authorities expect about 75,000 red-shirts to gather until well past midnight.

About 20,000 had assembled by early evening, with about 2,100 police were deployed to the area.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's government plans to hold an election around the middle of this year.

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