Thailand protet leader makes escape

2010-04-17 09:58 BJT

 

That botched raid, brought a surreal twist to Thailand's political crisis. In dramatic scenes, an anti-government protest leader scaled down a hotel facade with a rope, to evade arrest. He then drove off with two police officers, taken hostage by his supporters.

With a rope tied around his waist, Arisman Pongruangrong slid down from a hotel's third-story ledge into a waiting crowd of cheering Red Shirt supporters, who then hustled him to a getaway car.

Arisman later announced that the group had nabbed two police officers -- a colonel and a major general -- as hostages to ensure his safety.

The opposition figure's daring escape is a major embarrassment for Thailand's government, which announced earlier that security forces would surround the building to arrest Arisman, and other protest leaders holed up inside.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban has since proclaimed on national television that a crackdown is being launched against the Red Shirts.

Suthep Thaugsuban, Thai Deputy PM, said,"Now I ask the people who are demonstrating to leave the site, because we need to start our decisive operation against these terrorists."

Arisman is wanted by the police for heading up an April 7th invasion of the Thai Parliament building. He also led the storming of a Southeast Asian summit last year that forced the entire conference to be canceled.

Editor: Liu Fang | Source: CCTV.com