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Timeline: Battle in Bangkok
A look at key developments as troops launch an offensive against red shirt protesters.
Last Modified: 20 May 2010 05:33 GMT
The Thai army's assault on the red shirts' camp followed weeks of escalating tensions [Reuters]

Thai troops have stormed red shirt protesters' camp in the capital, Bangkok. The following is an account of key daily developments as they happened since the latest clashes began.

13 May

After more than two months of street protests, government orders red shirts to disperse and leave their camp in central Bangkok.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva withdraws offer to hold early elections in November.

Red shirt military adviser, suspended Major-General Khattiya Sawasdipol, is shot in the head while talking to reporters.

14 May

in depth

  Videos:
  Deadline for women and children
  Red shirts stand firm
  Bracing for crackdown
  Businesses see red
  Soldier killed in clashes
  Programmes:
  Inside Story: The battle in Bangkok
  Thailand: Warring colours
  101 East: The red shirts
  Thailand's TV wars
  Profiles:
  Thaksin and the red shirts
  Blogs:
  Darkest day

Troops and red shirts clash in running street battles, leaving at least eight protesters dead and dozens injured.

Red shirts reinforce camp, some taunting troops to come closer.

15 May

Clashes spread to other areas as death toll rises to 18 with dozens more wounded.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon urges all sides to step back from the brink and begin talks to avoid further violence and loss of life.

Thai military declares a "live firing zone" in parts of Bangkok.

Abhisit says the government is trying to "restore normalcy" and says there will be no turning back.

16 May

Death toll climbs to 25 as clashes continue. Government extends state of emergency to more provinces outside Bangkok.

Military imposes curfew as it steps up hunt for "terrorists" it says are hiding among protesters.

Thick smoke rises over parts of Bangkok as red shirts set fire to barricades made of tyres.

Red shirt leader Nattawut Saikua calls for UN moderated negotiations with the Thai government.

17 May

Fierce clashes overnight raise the death toll to 35. Government rejects red shirt calls for talks.

Red shirt military adviser Khattiya Sawasdipol - better known as Seh Daeng or "commander red" – dies in hospital after being shot in the head five days earlier.

Military says it will provide buses to allow women, children and the elderly to leave red shirt protest camp, raising speculation that the army is preparing for a final, major assault.

More than 5,000 red shirts defy government deadline to leave protest camp.

Brief talks between government officials and a red shirt leader break down without agreement on a ceasefire.

18 May

The military steps up efforts to seal off the protesters' camp as death toll rises to 38, but red shirt leaders vow to continue fight.

Proposal for mediated peace talks backed by members of the Thai senate is accepted by red shirt leaders, but government says any talks are out of the question until protest is called off.

19 May

Thai troops launch offensive against red shirt protest camp, firing live rounds and using armoured vehicles to break through barricades.

Troops using loudhailers urge protesters to leave, saying their lives are in danger.

The army halted the operation after key protest leaders surrendered, however, at least six people died in the assault on the red shirts' camp.

Violence erupted elsewhere in the capital - with protesters setting alight several key buildings including the stock exchange - and it spread to other parts of the country.

The government imposed a night time curfew on Bangkok and extended it to 22 other provinces in an effort to re-establish control over the streets.

20 May

Sporadic gunfire is heard across Bangkok and some buildings continue to burn as the army remains deployed on the streets.

The military announces that the curfew will be extended for the next three days, and warns that looters and arsonists risk being shot by troops.

Analysts warn that the violence could spread.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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