Ubon is now under curfew (8am – 6pm) as is 21 other provinces. I sent my staff home at 5pm and closed the shop just before the curfew began. The ride home was quiet. All shopping centres and western style businesses closed up at around 4pm. I did not see any red shirts on my short ride home.
Earlier today I mentioned that stories were circulating about deaths occurring at the protest that I covered at 1pm today. At that stage it was just a rumour. I guess technically it is still a rumour but since then I have had confirmation from people who were at the protest as well as a nursing contact who said that people were admitted with gun shot wounds to Sappasit hospital. Once again I do need to stress this is still unconfirmed but I am tending to now believe that between 3 and 5 people were killed when protesters broke through the barricades outside the Provincial Office which later was burnt to the ground.
*EDIT* just received this comment from a reader. “Two dead are confirmed in the Bangkok Post. “Two demonstrators were shot dead and five people were wounded. ”
*EDIT* Due to more information coming in I am now going to say that I believe five people were killed when the red shirts stormed the government offices.
Latest photos from Ubon taken an hour ago at 5pm. They explain it all really.
This fire truck was set upon by protesters and torched just 100m from the fire.
After uploading the previous photos I ventured back down to the Ubon Provicial Office (ศาลากลางจังหว้ดอุบลฯ) and was shocked with what I saw. There are still many hundreds of protesters around although more then half seem to have left.
Although it seems that the main building is not on fire the same can not be said for many of the surrounding structures. Vehicles within the compound are also on fire. I could not see any Police or Army in the immediate vicinity.
Still trying to confirm rumours about possible deaths.
After various smaller protests around Ubon Ratchathani this morning over 1,000 protesters blocked off the main road between Tung Sri Muang Park and the main government compound at around 1pm today.
Police and army were on hand to repel their demands to enter the compound.
Tyres were burnt and a main speaker was rallying the troops.
Flags were then removed from part of the fence.
That fence was then pushed over over by the red shirts and hundreds then tried to enter the compound.
The army while very reluctant at first tried hard to push them back but they were fighting a losing battle.
The army retreated back to the main building and about half of the red shirt crowd stormed the site. Suddenly two loud explosions were heard and the crowd very quickly did an about face and came running back to the main protest site. I saw one man who was injured and rushed away in a waiting vehicle. I have since heard that three people were killed. Now I must stress that at this stage this is just a rumour and I will try my hardest to find out if it is true or not.
It would appear that the final crackdown may have started in Bangkok early this morning. Here in Ubon things are heating up as well. As I type car and truck loads of red shirts are pouring into the city. I have also heard that there are many troops currently based all around the city as well.
I took these photos just minutes ago.
I am at work until 12 noon. As soon as I can get away I will head out with the camera to try and see what they are up to and will update as soon as I can.
After yesterdays excitement a lot of people have made contact to ask how Ubon is/was today. I am happy to report that things seem very quiet around town.
I had to go out for most of the afternoon and early evening for business which took me to a few different parts of town. The only thing that I noticed that was out of the ordinary was troops starting to gather at the intersection of Suriyat and Chayangkun Road after the sun went down this evening.
I had two different emails from people saying that the airport was closed. This is not true.
When I dropped into Peppers at lunch time I noticed some fresh graffiti on the wall where the protests were held yesterday. Graffiti is very rare around here so of course it caught me eye.
In Thai it says รัฐบาลฆ่าประชาชน รัฐบาลสั่งฆ่าประชาชน อภิทธิ์สั่งฆ่าประชาชน roughly translated into English it means The government killed people.
The Government ordered to kill people. Abhisit ordered to kill people. (Abhisit is the Thai Prime Minister.)
I wonder how long it will stay on the wall.
My blog yesterday has resulted in a few excellent comments from readers coming from very different sides of the argument in regards to the Red Shirts. I would love to know what you think, feel free to enter the debate here if you dare!