The Thai government says an operation launched at daybreak to clear protesters from their barricaded encampment in downtown Bangkok will last throughout the day.
Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn says Wednesday’s operation is designed “to secure the perimeter in several locations in Bangkok.”
Panitan appeared on television several hours after the crackdown started.
Armored vehicles and soldiers converged on the protest encampment and have broken through a section of tire-and-bamboo barricade.
Reports say as many as four of the “Red Shirt” protesters have been shot.
In addition, other reports say that at least three to four masked men, holding gallons of petrol, have been trying to set fire to the city’s Klong Toey MRT station.
With no security officials in the area, passers-by are the only thing standing between the masked men and torching of the subway station