11 Jan 2014

Injuries in Thai protest clashes

8:19 pm on 11 January 2014

Seven people have been wounded, one seriously, after gunmen opened fire on anti-government protesters in Thailand's capital Bangkok, heightening fears of further violence in the country.

Protesters are aiming to "shut down" the capital next week in their long-running bid to overthrow Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra.

Police say two shootouts occurred in the early hours of the morning near the Khao San Road tourist area.

Reuters reports the incident follows clashes between government supporters and protesters on Friday outside Bangkok that left at least six people injured.

The turmoil is the latest episode in an eight-year conflict that pits Bangkok's middle class and royalist establishment against the mostly poorer, rural supporters of Yingluck and her brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was overthrown in a military coup in 2006.

The protesters accuse the Shinawatra family of corruption and nepotism. Yingluck called a snap election for 2 February, but this failed to placate protesters, who want her government to resign to make way for an unelected people's council to oversee political reform.