I went with a friend to check out the riot zone today.
It is two days after the Red Shirts were cleared by the army but the curfew is still on.
I started at Klongtoey Market at the corner of Asok and Rama 4 and headed toward Silom.
This is the police box in front of Klongtoey Market. I guess the Red Shirts don’t like the police.
Here is a government office building burnt by the demonstrators. The electrical wires must have been damaged by the fire and the repair crews are working on them.
Here is the view down Silom from the southern side.
The street is blocked off to traffic but if you look non-threatening the soldiers or police will let you through.
The soldiers are pretty mellow and let everyone through. The police tend to hassle you more–probably thinking about getting some graft for passing your through.
Wonder why the Red Shirts are so angry?
As you get farther down Silom toward Lumpini Park, the roadblocks get harder to pass through.
At Soi Thaniya, the army has stashed the armor.
These are the armored personal carriers used to breach the Red Shirt barricades were stashed on Soi Thaniya.
These are Norinco Type 85’s — cheap basic APC’s made by the communist Chinese for the export market. The Thai army has over 400 of these.
They were sold to Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh, and Myanmar and they are the most common Thai army APC replacing Vietnam war era M113’s.
A 12.7mm machine gun can be mounted in the turret.
Personally, I wouldn’t want to be soldier going into battle in one of these. The armor will protect against small arms fire and that’s about it. Any type of decent mine or even the ubiquitous Russian RPG would incinerate and kill everyone inside.
They are good against unarmed civilians by don’t offer much protection or firepower against an actual enemy army—–perfect for the Thai army which hasn’t fought a conventional war in decades.
These boxes on the side are actually made out of cheap nailed together plywood.
I am not sure whether they are meant to protect against shaped charge weapons or were added later to provide external storage.
The APC has observation and gun ports so the soldiers inside can see and fire out, but the boxes have covered them up.
Here is the fuel truck that supports the APC’s parked across the Soi.
This is what Red Shirts on the barricade probably saw right before these APC’s rolled over them.