22 Jan 2014

Thai 'red shirt' leader shot

8:14 pm on 22 January 2014

A leader of Thailand's pro-government "red-shirt" group has been shot, as a 60-day state of emergency came into effect in Bangkok and nearby provinces.

Presenter Kwanchai Praipana.

Presenter Kwanchai Praipana. Photo: AFP

Kwanchai Praipana, a local radio presenter who played a large role in Bangkok protests in 2010, was wounded at his home in Udon Thani in the north.

It came as anti-government protesters continued to block parts of Bangkok to force the Prime Minister to resign, the BBC reports.

The emergency decree gives the government wide-ranging powers. Imposed late on Tuesday, it covers Bangkok and three surrounding provinces. It gives the government the power to control crowds and censor media, but it remains unclear how it will be enforced.

The protesters - who began their campaign in November last year - say Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government is being influenced by her brother, exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

The protesters want an unelected "people's council" to run Thailand until its political system is changed.

Ms Yingluck has refused to step down and has called an election on 2 February, which the opposition are boycotting.