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Terror grips Thai capital -

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Further bloodshed is anticipated in the Thai capital of Bangkok as protesters ignore a Government
warning to leave their main encampment in the city's CBD.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The Thai capital is again bracing itself for more violence after a deadly
weekend in which Bangkok which saw at least 30 people killed.

The government rejected calls from the Red Shirt protestors for United Nations mediated talks to
try to resolve the crisis. Instead, it issued a deadline for the demonstrators, especially women
and children, to leave the protest site.

That passed almost five hours ago and now the two sides are locked in a tense stand-off.

For the latest, we're joined now from Bangkok by South-East Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel.

Zoe, given that the deadline's now passed, have the troops moved in to clear the protestors out of
that camp?

ZOE DANIEL, SOUTH-EAST ASIA CORRESPONDENT: Leigh, not yet. We are seeing some signs though of
troops very slowly and gradually moving closer to the protest site at key intersections around the

We've seen troops close off one major exit point with razor wire, but we haven't seen any troops
enter the site yet. It's quite an eerie atmosphere.

You might be able to still hear the background noise from the main protest stage about 200 metres
from where I'm standing, but there aren't many people around. Everyone seems to be just quietly
sitting and waiting to see what will happen.

And it's very dark down below too because the Red Shirts have turned all the lights off in advance
of a possible move by the military.

LEIGH SALES: We can hear that noise, Zoe, and we're seeing some pictures of the quite disturbing
scenes there. What are the latest reports on casualties?

ZOE DANIEL: Well, the numbers that the government's giving out are 35 dead and over 260 wounded.
Among those to die recently are the Major General Seh Daeng, the Thai general-turned-Red Shirt who
was shot in the head while doing an interview last week with a journalist succumbed to his injuries

That's quite a pivotal turning point in the sense that he's said to have been the leader of the
militant elements of the Red Shirt group, those that are holding the more heavy weaponry, the likes
of M79 grenades and some handguns that some journalists have seen Red Shirts with.

But also, obviously, the rest of those casualties and deaths are largely civilians, other than one
soldier who has been confirmed to have died.

LEIGH SALES: Zoe, how can this be resolved? Is there any likelihood that the proposed November
election can be held?

ZOE DANIEL: I don't think so. I think that that's something that was a past option and I really
can't see that being brought forward again.

We did see some reports just before this deadline came that perhaps there would be a last-minute
ceasefire. We were then told that no, the behind-the-scenes negotiations had collapsed, so there
doesn't seem to be any room to move between the government and the protestors at this time.

The government has previously said that it wouldn't do anymore talking until the protestors left
this site. Having said that, I have just been told before speaking to you that the Red Shirt
leaders bunkered down themselves in a shipping container down at the protest site talking about
what their next move might be.

I'm told there could be a positive outcome, but with the sort of preparations that we're seeing,
the military making around the site, including closing down petrol stations and blocking off the
roads that I mentioned, we can see that it could be imminent that the military will try and move in
and certainly they've indicated that they will.

LEIGH SALES: OK, obviously a very unstable situation. Zoe Daniel in Bangkok, thank you for bringing
us up to date.