Thai troops killed Red Shirts hiding in temple, official report admits

Estimated read time 2 min read

Leaked investigation contradicts Thai Prime Minister, who had blamed six gunshot deaths on protesters taking sanctuary

An official investigation into the deaths of protesters taking refuge in a Buddhist temple that had been declared a safe haven during Thailand’s Red Shirt demonstrations in May this year has found that special forces were probably responsible.

This confirms eyewitness reports directly contradicting claims by the military that soldiers had not been present. Investigators said troops had taken position on an elevated railway track and fired high-velocity rounds into the Bangkok temple, where hundreds of terrified men, women and children were seeking sanctuary. The investigation also found that troops were most likely responsible for the death of a Japanese journalist this year.

Three of the six people who died in the temple were most likely killed by the soldiers’ bullets. There was insufficient evidence to determine who was responsible for the other deaths, but investigators said all six who died in the temple compound were struck by high-velocity rounds. “There is a reasonable amount of facts, evidence and witness accounts to believe that [three] deaths resulted from security officials’ actions on duty,” said investigators. They recommended that police make further inquiries.


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