Bangkok burns after Thai army violently storms protest zone

Anti-government supporters rescue a fellow "red shirt" who was shot after the Thai army soldiers stormed barricade where thousands of protesters were encamped in Bangkok on May 19, 2010.

BANGKOK—Bangkok is burning tonight after the Thai military overran the anti-government Red Shirts protest site, set protestors scattering and took custody of all of the movement’s main leaders following their surrender.

As a government-ordered curfew was set to begin at 8 p.m. local time (9 a.m. Eastern) as many as 20 fires were raging across the city, including the Bangkok Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Bangkok’s electrical grid, a high-end shopping complex and a cinema, as some protestors took their anger into other parts of the city.

A government television station and the English-language Bangkok Post were reported to be under siege, and there were reports of violence and rioting spreading to other parts of the country.

Four people were reported dead in Bangkok – including an Italian photojournalist. Scores of others were injured, including another Canadian freelance journalist and filmmaker whose next-of-kin has yet to be informed.

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