11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed concern for a police officer who sustained serious injury when he was shot during a protest by the “Talugas” group at Din Daeng intersection last night and has ordered that the injured officer be given close medical care, said Government Spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonchana today.

A bullet of, as yet, unknown calibre pierced the officer’s helmet and became embedded in the skull of Pol Lance Corporal Techwit Lettensen, as he was on duty in the vicinity of the Din Daeng apartments in Din Daeng Soi 1 at about 1amthis morning.

He was rushed to the Police general hospital and immediately operated on, to remove the bullet from his brain, but, after several hours of surgery, he remains in a coma and on a ventilator, according to Thanakorn.

The spokesman condemned the use of violence by some of the protesters and accused them of being bent on damaging public property and causing unnecessary hardship to people living at and around the protest site.

The hard core anti-authority ”Talugas” protesters, many of them teenagers and vocational students, have been battling with the police at Din Daeng intersection on daily basis for more than a month, without a set of clear political demands. Riding motorcycles, they usually gather at the intersection in the evening and engage in street battles with the police until late at night, often into the curfew hours, hurling homemade explosives, firecrackers, flares and, lately, Molotov cocktails, at the police.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who is in charge of national security affairs, expressed sorrow overthe violent incident last night and urged the protesters to refrain from such actions.

He also urged police to exercise caution and to not resort to violence against the protesters.

Police detained 28 suspects after a special operations police unit combed the area where the officer was shot and its surroundings in Din Daeng. Those detained included 11-year old and 13-year old boys and five others under 18. All were taken to Phahonyothin police station for questioning and detention.

Forensic police and officers from the explosive ordnance disposal unit were sent to the area in Soi Chaturatit, where several apartments and commercial buildings are located, to look for explosives or other weapons which are thought to bestored there by the protesters.

It is reported that the national police chief, Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk, will personally question some of the detained suspects at Phahonyothin police station.