Thai protesters start Bangkok 'shutdown'Updated: 2014-01-14 06:27:31 KST
In a planned protest to overthrow embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, about 50-thousand protesters blocked major intersections in the capital city of Bangkok on Monday. Protesters said they will also cut off electricity and water supplies to some government offices.
The People's Democratic Reform Committee protest group is behind Monday's "Bangkok shutdown."
They are demanding that an appointed government run the country and a cancellation of February elections, which Yingluck's ruling party are almost certain to win.
They say the current leader is only a proxy for her brother, exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by the military in 2006.
One-hundred-and-forty schools were closed on the first day of the demonstrations Monday, along with dozens of hospitals, hotels and fire stations.
The government has beefed up security, stationing about 20-thousand police and military personnel in and around the capital.
So far the protests have been without violence.
Ahead of the planned shutdown,protesters, led by head protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, started blocking major intersections in the capital to create traffic jams where an estimated 700-thousand vehicles pass through on a daily basis.
Things turned violent when unknown gunmen opened fire on a group of anti-government protesters at a rally site in Bangkok.
At least seven people were injured.
Protest leader Suthep said the rallies will continue unless Prime Minister Yingluck steps down.
"We can not compromise on any offers. This is non-negotiable. So if we lose this fight, then we lose. If we win, then we win. There is no win-win for both sides."
The army and the police have expressed concerns of escalating violence that could lead to a coup attempt.
Since the protests began in October, eight people have died and 4-hundred-70 have been injured in street violence.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.
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