Canadian journalist 'gravely wounded' in Thai protest: network

14th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Canadian television cameraman, one of three journalists hurt Friday during clashes in Bangkok, was hit by three bullets from a military assault rifle and "gravely wounded", his network reported.

Nelson Rand, a veteran reporter who was covering fighting between troops and protesters for the France 24 news channel, is being treated in Chulalongkorn hospital in the Thai capital after he was shot.

"I've just come out of the hospital where I spoke to the surgeon," Rand's colleague Cyril Payen said in a live France 24 report monitored in Paris.

"It has been confirmed he was hit by three bullets. One hit his leg, one his torso and another his wrist, which has multiple fractures. The doctors say his condition is now stable but that he was gravely wounded."

Payen said he had been told that Rand had been hit by three rounds from an M16-type assault rifle of the sort issued to the Thai army troops deployed in Bangkok to control a protest by anti-government activists.

French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said Paris "deplored the incident" and that diplomats in Bangkok were following events closely.

The Thai newspaper Matichon said earlier that one of its photographers was shot in the leg during the latest outbreak of violence.

Voice-TV, a cable television station owned by the family of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, said one of its cameramen was also shot in the leg. He was being treated in hospital, the station said.

Thaksin was ousted in a bloodless military coup in 2006 and lives in self-imposed exile to avoid a jail term for corruption. Many of the "Red Shirt" militants protesting this month seek his return.

The government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has accused Thaksin of inciting unrest in the capital from overseas.

A Japanese cameraman was among 25 people killed on April 10 when clashes broke out during a bid by troops to clear protesters from a different area.

On Thursday night, a renegade army general allied to the Red Shirts was shot in the head and gravely wounded while he gave an interview to a foreign newspaper reporter.

© 2010 AFP

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