– Thai stock exchange on fire, blackouts hit Bangkok (Reuters):
BANGKOK, May 19 (Reuters) – The Thai stock exchange was on fire and parts of Bangkok were hit by power blackouts on Wednesday as violence continued, even though anti-government protest leaders surrendered and troops said they were in control.
The stock exchange building was on fire, the exchange’s president told Reuters, while witnesses said major tourist hotels had lost power as black smoke billowed around buildings in the Thai capital.
The stock market had closed early due to the violence.
Thai Defence Minister General Pravit Wongsuwan said a curfew may be imposed on Bangkok to deal with continued unrest after troops dispersed anti-government protesters in a major offensive that killed at least four people and wounded 50 others.
Bangkok was burning today after Thai protest leaders called a halt to months of anti-government demonstrations leaving their followers to wreak havoc in retreat.
The stock exchange and two shopping centres were set alight after a bloody army assault on the barricaded encampment forced the Red Shirts to surrender. Protesters have also set the offices of TV station Channel 3 on fire, trapping 100 staff in the building.
The dawn offensive left five dead, including an Italian journalist, and dozens more were wounded.
– Thai Government Declares Curfew in Bangkok (Voice of America)
Curfew comes into force in Bangkok
Smoke rises from burning fires in downtown Bangkok, Thailand, following the surrender of anti-government leaders to the police Wednesday, May 19, 2010. The Thai government is attempting to end the two month long standoff with Red Shirt protestors with a massive military crackdown. (AP)
BANGKOK — A night curfew has come into force in Bangkok, the first declared in the Thai capital since 1992.
The 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew was enforced Wednesday following an army assault on the anti-government protesters.
At least six people have been killed and nearly 60 injured in clashes.
The last such curfew was declared in 1992, when the army killed dozens of pro-democracy demonstrators seeking the ouster of a military-backed government.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
BANGKOK (AP) — Downtown Bangkok became a flaming battleground Wednesday as an army assault forced anti-government protest leaders to surrender, enraging followers who shot grenades and set fire to landmark buildings, cloaking the skyline in black smoke.
Using live ammunition, troops dispersed thousands of Red Shirt protesters who had been camped in the capital’s premier shopping and residential district for weeks. Five protesters and an Italian news photographer were killed in the ensuing gunbattles and about 60 wounded.