Mr. Sondhi was on his way to his daily morning talkshow programme at ASTV station when the gunmen in a pick-up truck fired at his vehicles tires to stop it at Bangkok’s Bangkhunprom intersection.
According to witnesses, the attackers then fired about hundred rounds with an M-16 and an AK-47.
Mr. Sondhi and his secretary were wounded and were sent to Vajira Hospital amid tight security, while his driver was seriously injured and was sent to Mission Hospital.
The attackers escaped from the scene when another car belonging to Mr. Sondhi’s followers shot them back.
Dr. Wanchai Charoenchokethavee, director of Vajira Hospital, said that Mr. Sondhi is now in surgery to remove a bullet from his skull.
Mr. Sondhi is a founder of the anti-Thaksin Shinawatra movement which toppled the then premier from power in 2006. Last year his ‘Yellow Shirt’ protesters staged protests against, what they called, the Thaksin nominee governments by besieging Government House and seizing the country’s two main airports.
Meanwhile, Dr. Panitan Wattanayakorn, deputy secretary-general to the Prime Minister and Government Spokesman, said that the assassination may affect the cancellation of the State of Emergency Decree.
Dr. Panitan said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and security-concerned agencies were informed about the incident and would take this issue for consideration in Friday’s Cabinet meeting.
Metropolitan Police Chief Pol.Lt-Gen. Worapong Chewpreecha said that 64 casings of AK-47 cartridges, 16 from an M-16 and 17 SK shell casings were found at the crime scene.
Gen. Worapong said that an investigation was under way to determine the assassination motive. Police initially aimed at Mr. Sondhi’s political movement and his personal conflicts. (TNA)