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Pro-Thai PM protest leader recovering

A THAI protest leader shot after days of rioting in the capital is in stable condition and recovering rapidly, doctors said yesterday.

The attack on Sondhi Limthongkul, leader of the "yellow-shirt" movement that helped topple Thailand's government three years ago, has raised political temperatures that had started to cool after rioting by rival "red-shirt" protesters was quelled earlier in the week.

Dr Thirapong Chaorenwit, acting director at Chulalongkorn Hospital, said Sondhi had bullet shards removed from his head and would need another week of rest before he could head home. "He now can sit, walk and eat normally," Thirapong said. An aide hit in Friday's attack on Sondhi's car was also improving, he said.

Bangkok remained under emergency rule and security was tightened around Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who said the assassination attempt on Sondhi should not serve as an excuse for more conflict.

Sondhi, founder of the People's Alliance for Democracy, was ambushed on his way to work by gunmen in a pickup truck firing M-16 and AK-47 assault rifles. At least five men are now believed to have been involved, Deputy Police Chief Jongrak Chutanond said yesterday.


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