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15 killed in Bangkok protests

Fifteen people were killed in Bangkok Saturday during a protest. The protest contained clashes between anti-government protesters and Thai police and military forces, according to emergency officials.

The Erawan Emergency Center said of the fifteen killed, 11 were civilians and four were military. At least 486 people were injured, the center said.

CNN reported that the protesters, known as the "Red Shirts," displayed bodies of two people, who they said were killed by live rounds fired by the troops.

"The government is so bad," said Samran Wangngam, who said he was the father of one of the protesters killed. "Why are they so cruel? How can they do this to my son?"

A spokesmen for the Royal Thai Army, Col. Sansern Kawekamnerd, said in a news conference that the security forces fired real bullets only into the air to scare away protesters. Kawekamnerd said the demonstrators fired real bullets at the security forces and that many security officers were injured.

The protesters were rallying for weeks to demand new elections. They are seeking to oust Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who they say was not democratically elected.

Japanese coast guard arrests Sea Shepherd activist

An activist from New Zealand was arrested Friday by the Japanese coast guard after he boarded a Japanese whaling ship last month.

Peter Bethune, member of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, boarded the whaling ship without permission intending to make a citizen arrest of the Japanese crew.

As reported by The New York Times and BBC news, a crew of Japanese photographers and reporters waited at the dock in Toyko for Bethune's arrival.

BBC news reported that after the Shonan Maru 2 docked, Japanese coastguard officials went on board and arrested him.

Hirotaka Akamatsu, the Japanese fisheries minister, told New York Times reporters that Mr. Bethune's actions were "outrageously illegal behavior."

"We want to deal with it strictly," he said.

Mr. Bethune's arrest was top news in Japan, where Sea Shepherd's efforts to obstruct whaling ships receive wide publicity, none of it positive. While few Japanese eat whale, public opinion is generally sympathetic to the government's claims that whaling is part of Japanese culture.

ABC News reported that Paul Watson, captain of the Steve Irwin vessel, says the group has had no contact with Mr Bethune but they expect his arrest will lend greater support to their cause.

"I think that this whole thing is going to make Peter Bethune an international hero, certainly a national hero in New Zealand," he said.

"And I think with Peter Bethune they've got themselves a hot potato that they're probably going to want to let go of pretty soon."

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