The founder of a Thai political group which helped remove former Prime
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from power has narrowly survived an attack by
gunmen. The attack comes as the Thai capital remains under a state of emergency
declared after supporters of Mr. Thaksin clashed with security forces.
Thai police say Sondhi
Limthongkul was driving to work early Friday morning when his car was fired on
by at least two gunmen using automatic rifles.
The gunmen sprayed more
than 50 rounds on the media tycoon's car, hitting him in the shoulder and
wounding his bodyguard and assistant.
Victim recovering after
Doctors later removed a bullet fragment from Sondhi's skull
and say he is now recovering.
Buranaj Smutharaks is a spokesman for the
Democrat Party, the political party of Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit
Vejjajiva. He told journalists Sondhi was the latest casualty of violent unrest
to hit Bangkok, which he blamed on a minority of anti-government
"Although the majority of people who took part in the
demonstrations are believed to be genuine in their grievances and intended to
exercise their rights according to the law, the spates of outright violence
around the city … were all premeditated," Buranaj said.
No suspects, motive
Thai police have not announced any suspects
or motive in the shooting.
The media tycoon led the "yellow shirt"
protest movement against former Prime Minister Thaksin, leading to his removal
from power and the rise of current Prime Minister Abhisit.
protesters supporting Mr. Thaksin have in recent weeks held protests against Mr.
Abhisit that turned violent. They say his government is illegitimate and want
Mr. Thaksin to return from exile to contest new elections.
State of emergency in effect
Protesters forced the Thai government to cancel a
meeting of Asian and Pacific leaders. Clashes in Bangkok left two people dead
and more than 130 wounded before protesters dispersed Tuesday under military
The city is still under a state of emergency that makes it
illegal for any public gatherings larger than five people and allows the
government to censor the media and deploy soldiers.
The Thai government
says it will lift the declared emergency once it is certain that peace has
returned to Bangkok.