Army: No involvement in Laksi clash

The army was not involved in the clash between People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protesters and red-shirts at Laksi intersection on Feb 1, even though some of the weapons used might be similar to military weaponry, army spokesman Winthai Suwari said on Monday.

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Col Winthai was responding to comments by police that evidence collected from the scene showed that tweapons fired were of types used by the military.

He said the types of weapons mentioned by the police were used not only by the military but also by police, and many other people..

The army, in particular, has a strict rule on control of weapons.  Moreover, during this period there are no missions requiring soldiers to go out with weapons, Col Winthai said.

What is worrying is the fact that a large number of army weapons had been seized by protesters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) during the 2010 political violence and not all of them had been retrieved.

The army would coordinate with those handling this case to follow up to see if any progress had been made, Col Winthai said.

The army spokesman also said soldiers who were at the Laksi intersection confirmed that during the clash shots were fired from many different directions.

Therefore, before arriving at a conclusion and making it public  the police should thoroughly examine the evidence so that their findings are acceptable to society beyond doubt, otherwise their credibility could be affected, he said.

"Please don't rush to make a conclusion because it could be expanded to be a conflict by ill-intentioned people.  The conclusion made in haste may also cause authorities concerned to be misled and result in injustice.

"Whenever there is a case of rival groups engaged in a clash which involves use of weapons, we should try to establish facts from evidence and circumstances to find out who are involved, where and how in order to get real culprits for legal action," Col Winthai said.

The spokesman called for people who have pictures of use of violence, regardless by which group, to send them to the army's image centre at emai: or call 083-1887088 to give the information to the authorities.

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