Nine wounded in pre-election attacks

Nine people were wounded, two seriously, in three violent incidents just hours before voting got underway in the general election.

Dr Somkiat Kasemthamkhun, coordinator of the Public Health Ministry's centre for prevention and mitigation of casualties from political rallies, said the majority of those hurt were victims of the gun battle at Lak Si intersection on the eve of the vote.

Five men and two women were wounded in the clash that took place at around 4pm as anti-government protesters and red-shirt supporters faced off.

Six victims were admitted to Vibhavadi Hospital. Two are yet to be released. One of the wounded is a 71-year-old man who was shot in the neck and the spine. He is unable to move his limbs and is likely paralysed. 

Another of the injured was an American photographer, James Nachtwey. He was admitted to BNH Hospital but has already been released.

In the second incident, a giant firecracker exploded at Lat Phrao intersection at around 8pm Saturday. One man suffered arm injuries. He was released shortly after being treated at Ratchawithi Hospital.

A woman remains in intensive care after being shot in the ribcage in the the third incident, which took place on Soi Chaeng Wattana 10 at around 1am on Sunday morning. The victim was riding pillion on a motorcycle at the time of the attack. She was admitted to Vibhavadi Hospital.

Public health permanent secretary Dr Narong Sahamethapat, said 10 spots in Bangkok continue to be particularly at risk of violent incidents - Sai Mai, Don Muang, Bang Kapi, Wang Thong Lang, Lak Si, Bang Na, Bang Bon, Suan Luang, Min Buri and Bung Kum.

Other provinces prone to election-related violence are Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Chiang Mai, Udon Thani and Khon Kaen, he said.

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