Khattiya Sawatdiphol, a Thai general allied with anti-government Red Shirt protesters, has been shot in the head in Bangkok.
According to a reporter for the New York Times, Thomas Fuller, the shooting took place while he was interviewing the general, who is also known as Seh Daeng.
The latest from the AP:
A renegade army general accused of leading a paramilitary force among Thailand's Red Shirt protesters was shot in the head Thursday as he spoke with foreign reporters on a street near a downtown Bangkok subway station.
A second person was shot in the head by soldiers in ensuing clashes that continued in the night, an Associated Press cameraman saw. At least three other people were injured.
Maj. Gen. Khattiya Sawasdiphol was shot following a government warning it would shoot "terrorists" in its latest effort to end the two-month-long siege by thousands of Red Shirts. He is currently in hospital intensive care. The protesters, mostly rural poor, are occupying a 1-square-mile (3-square-kilometer) area in a posh neighborhood to pressure the prime minister to resign and call elections.
Dressed in military-style fatigues, Khattiya was being interviewed outside the Silom subway station at the edge of the protest zone when a bullet struck him in the head. The area is surrounded by tall office buildings, leading to suspicions the shot was fired by a sniper.
Khattiya, known by his nickname Seh Daeng, slumped to the ground and one person cradled his head for a while. Moments later, other people dragged him by the legs, his head sliding on the ground, leaving a trail of blood.
In an interview with the AP about 90 minutes before he was shot, Khattiya, 59, said he anticipated a military crackdown soon.
"It's either dusk or dawn when the troops will go in," he said. He was shot soon after night fell.
An aide who answered Khattiya's mobile phone described the injury as "severe." The AP called Khattiya's phone after several gunshots and explosions were heard late Thursday from the vicinity of the Red Shirt's redoubt in the upscale Rajprasong district.
The government's medical emergency center confirmed that Khattiya was shot in the head and admitted to the intensive care unit at a hospital. It said three people were injured, saying they couldn't confirm Thai media reports of more than 20 injuries.
It was not possible to verify the aide's claim that Khattiya was shot by a sniper. Calls to police and army spokesmen seeking comment were not answered.