Thai troops and anti-government protesters fought on Bangkok’s streets for a third day on Saturday as the death toll rose to 16 dead and at least 141 wounded, turning the capital into a bloody battlefield.
Following is a timeline of the main developments in the current round of crisis that has battered tourism and consumer confidence and left 46 people dead and at least 1,500 wounded.
March 12 – Protesters converge on Bangkok
March 14 – Up to 150,000 protesters hold mass rally at the Phan Fah bridge in Bangkok’s old quarter
March 17 – Protesters splash bottles of their own blood outside prime minister’s home and office as a sign of their “sacrifice for democracy”
March 29 – Two days of televised talks between the government and protest leaders end without agreement. Red shirts vow to continue their fight
April 3 – Protesters seize the Rachaprasong intersection in downtown Bangkok, which is packed with shopping malls and hotels
April 6 – Up to 90,000 red shirts defy government orders by holding a mobile Bangkok rally in pickup trucks and on motorcycles
April 8 – State of emergency declared in Bangkok after red shirts force their way into parliament
April 9 – Protesters lay siege to Thaicom satellite earth station in Pathum Thani, seeking to get a blocked TV channel back on air
April 10 – Troops attempt to break up protest at Phan Fah bridge, 25 people killed and more than 800 wounded in the country’s worst clashes in 18 years
April 14 – Red shirts consolidate protests into one site at Rachaprasong
April 16 – Four red shirt leaders escape, one by scaling down a building wall on a cable, after police commandoes try to raid their hotel but are overwhelmed by protesters
April 22 – One woman is killed and more than 70 civilians injured when five M-79 grenades are launched near pro-government demonstrators in Bangkok’s Silom Road business district
April 28 – A soldier is killed and about 20 protesters wounded when clashes erupt after security forces try to block a mobile rally on a highway in Bangkok’s outskirts
May 3 – Abhisit announces a five-point reconciliation road map, culminating in a Nov 14 election
May 4 – Red shirts respond, saying they accept Abhisit’s offer, but object to election date
May 7 – Gun and grenade attacks in the heavily guarded Silom area kill two police and wound 13, among them 10 police officers
May 11 – Red shirt leaders announce they agree to Abhisit’s peace plan but make several demands that the government rejects
May 12 – Abhisit tells red shirts the deal is off and cancels plans for Nov. 14 election, giving demonstrators until midnight to end their protest or face eviction by force
May 13 – A rogue Thai general leading a militant wing of the red shirts is shot in the head and critically wounded and a man is killed when the army used force to blockade the street rally.
May 14 – Troops and protesters clash at multiple locations across Bangkok’s commercial heart, where grenades and gunshots are heard throughout the day and night.
May 15 – Clashes spread to other areas as troops struggle to isolate the protest encampment. The death toll rises to 16 with 141 wounded.
(Compiled by Martin Petty; Editing by Bill Tarrant)