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Men in black strike again

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Explosions and gunshots rang out yesterday afternoon as a 200-strong group of black-clad men attacked a squatter community occupying a deserted factory in Khlong Luang.

Two people were injured and dozens of makeshift huts set ablaze in a clash between a gang and squatters at a former factory in Pathum Thani.


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Two hurt, huts set ablaze as gang attacks squatters

Pongpat Wongyala

PATHUM THANI : Explosions and gunshots rang out yesterday afternoon as a 200-strong group of black-clad men attacked a squatter community occupying a deserted factory in Khlong Luang.

The attackers stormed the 616-rai plot on outbound Phahon Yothin Road around 3.30pm and set about torching some of the near-1,000 wooden huts housing the squatters.

While most of the illegal occupants were away, having travelled to their hometowns to vote, the men in black were met with resistance from the 200 or so residents who had remained.

The invaders apparently aimed to evict the occupants from the former factory of the bankrupt Thai Melon Textile Co and demolish their makeshift homes.

The men in black had set fire to about 30 of the huts when the occupants started fighting back by hurling sticks and stones at their attackers.

Both sides fought for more than an hour, during which time other residents nearby reported hearing gunshots and explosions.

Two as-yet unidentified members of the black-clad group were injured in the clash. One was shot in the neck and another was shot in the right knee. Both were taken to a nearby hospital.

The land was owned by a Thai-American joint venture before it was seized by a bank following the factory's bankruptcy. It was later auctioned, and a group of private companies won.

The squatters encroached on the land about two months ago, before the new owner could occupy it.

A group from the community, who did not wish to be named, said they were told they could live on the land free of charge.

injured – hurt in an accident or attack ซึ่งได้รับบาดเจ็บ
makeshift – using whatever is available and therefore not very good   สำหรับใช้ชั่วคราว, ใช้ประทังไปก่อน
hut – a small, simply built house or shelter กระท่อม, กระต๊อบ
set ablaze – to set on fire วางเพลิง
clash – a brief fight between two or more people การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย
clad – dressed or covered สวมใส่
squatter – someone who illegally lives in a building, piece of land, etc. that does not belong to them คนที่เข้าครอบครองสถานที่โดยไม่ได้รับอนุญาต
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
occupy – to be in control of an area that you have entered in a group เข้ายึดครอง
deserted – empty ที่ถูกทิ้งให้ว่างเปล่า  ร้างไป
storm – to use force to try to enter a place บุก, เดินฝ่าเข้าไป
plot – a piece of land used for a particular purpose ที่ดินแปลงเล็ก
outbound – travelling towards a particular point, particularly away from a city ขาออก (opposite of inbound ขาเข้า)
torch – to deliberately set on fire วางเพลิง
illegal – against the law  ผิดกฎหมาย
occupants – people who are in a particular place, vehicle, building, etc. at a particular time ผู้ครอบครอง
resistance – a refusal to accept something or allow it to happen การต่อต้าน, การขัดขืน
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
invader – an army, country or gorup that enters another area by force in order to take control of it  ผู้รุกราน, ผู้บุกรุก
apparently – based only on what you have heard or think, not on what you are certain is true; seemingly ตามที่ได้รู้มา
aim – to have as your purpose or goal   มีเป้าหมาย  มีจุดมุ่งหมาย      
evict – to force someone to leave a building or place where they have been living or working ขับไล่ออกจากพื้นที่   ไล่ที่
bankrupt – without enough money to pay what you owe ล้มละลาย
demolish – to completely destroy a building, especially in order to use the land for something else รื้อ (สิ่งก่อสร้าง), ทำลาย
hurl – to throw something using a lot of force  เขวี้ยง ขว้างปา
unidentified – not known (who someone is) ซึ่งไม่สามารถระบุได้
neck – the part of the body between the head and the shoulders  ลำคอ (อวัยวะ), คอ
knee – the joint between the top and bottom parts of the leg where it bends in the middle หัวเข่า
joint venture – a business activity carried out by two or more companies or groups การลงทุนร่วม
seized – taken away by force or official power ถูกยึกครอง
auction – a usually public sale of goods or property, where people make higher and higher bids (= offers of money) for each thing, until the thing is sold to the person who will pay most การขายโดยการประมูล, การขายทอดตลาด
encroach – to gradually cover or take over more and more of an area of land บุกรุก, ล่วงล้ำ

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