Senior Thai pro-govt "red shirt" leader shot, wounded -police

UDON THANI, Thailand Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:03am IST

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UDON THANI, Thailand (Reuters) - A leader of Thailand's pro-government "red shirt" movement was shot and wounded in a drive-by shooting on Wednesday in the northeastern town of Udon Thani, in what police said appeared to be a politically motivated attack.

Kwanchai Praipana, who leads thousands of red-shirted pro-government supporters in Udon Thani province, was sitting outside his home when he was shot by unidentified assailants, police said. He was wounded in the arm and leg.

"From what we saw on CCTV, a bronze pickup truck drove by and several rounds were fired at the house," Police Colonel Kowit Tharoenwattanasuk told Reuters.

"The investigation has just begun but we believe this is a politically motivated crime."

The shooting could further raise tension in the country after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government imposed a state of emergency in the capital, Bangkok, from Wednesday to help contain a protest movement trying to force her from power.

(Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Alan Raybould and Clarence Fernandez)

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