Author Topic: Rangers deny any role in April 10 clashes  (Read 933 times)

Offline Johnnie F.

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Rangers deny any role in April 10 clashes
« on: April 18, 2010, 07:35:03 PM »
Rangers deny any role in April 10 clashes

NAKHON RATCHASIMA : Former rangers from the now defunct Pak Thong Chai camp have denied allegations that they were the men in black shooting soldiers and protesters in the April 10 clashes.

Amporn Janchomchun _ president of the so-called ''black warriors'' club which comprises 300 former paramilitary rangers from the former camp in Nakhon Ratchasima province's Pak Thong Chai district _ said facts must be established to identify those responsible for the shooting of protesters and soldiers on April 10.

A wide range of photos and video footage has emerged showing a group of unidentified men dressed in black firing at security forces and red shirt anti-government protesters during last Saturday's clash near Phan Fa Bridge.

Twenty-four protesters and soldiers were killed and more than 800 injured in the violence that ensued.

Mr Amporn said the accusations have given the former Pak Thong Chai rangers a bad name.

He said he did not want the camp's name to be linked with any political movement.

The veteran, who lost his leg in a battle with communist insurgents in 1986, said that most of the club's members were not aligned with any political group.

He called on all sides to stop accusing the rangers of involvement in the April 10 violence, otherwise he and his comrades would be forced to rise up to protect their honour.

Kasem Senghapan, a club member, asked the public not to prejudge the Pak Thong Chai rangers. Some of the gunmen in the clashes only looked similar to the rangers because they wore black.

Only a few of the club's members had joined the red shirt rallies, he said.

He rejected claims by pro-red shirt army specialist Khattiya Sawasdipol _ also known as Seh Daeng _ that many rangers had joined the anti-government movement.

Mr Kasem also demanded a thorough investigation into the April 10 clashes to clear the rangers' name.

The Pak Thong Chai camp was set up in 1978 during the communist insurgency to train rangers to fight the anti-government forces.

Bangkok Post