Fire Rips Through Thai Exchange as Protesters Flee
A fire ripped through the Thai Stock Exchange and other buildings in the Thai capital late Wednesday afternoon after government troops launched an assault on an anti-government protesters’ encampment in the center of the city. Television news reports showed smoke billowing from the headquarters of Thailand’s stock exchange, while thick plumes of smoke could also be seen in other parts of the city. Newswire reports said the fires had been set by militant protesters, who firebombed the stock exchange, a television station and shopping malls. The protesters, known as Red shirts, surrendered mostly peacefully as hundreds of government troops began tearing down their fortified rally base, which had been occupied for six weeks as part of a campaign calling for the government to step down.