Anti-Thaksin leader survives shooting
Apr 17,2009 00:00 by UPI

BANGKOK -- The leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy in Thailand was injured but survived an assassination attempt as he was driving to work Friday, police said.

At least three gunmen armed with M-16 and an AK-47 assault weapons fired at the car carrying Sondhi Limthongkul, founder of the anti-Thaksin Shinawatra movement that toppled Thakskin in 2006, TNA reported.

Sondhi underwent surgery to remove a bullet from his head, hospital officials said. Also injured were his secretary and driver.

The gunmen fled when Sondhi's supporters in another car returned fire, the news agency said.

Bangkok police chief Worapong Chewpreecha said investigators were trying to determine a motive in the shooting.

Meanwhile, Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the Cabinet decided to extend the state of emergency in effect in Bangkok and five provinces, the Thai News Agency reported.

Abhisit imposed a state of emergency April 12 after anti-government protesters disrupted a summit of Asian countries in the port city of Pattaya and carried out demonstrations in Bangkok.

Among the order's suspended activities are public gatherings of more than five people and news reports considered threatening to public order, the news agency said. It also empowers police and the military to detain suspects for up to 30 days without charge.

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