Teen killed in bus not a red shirt, say cops

Teen killed in bus not a red shirt, say cops

A male teenager who was found dead in a burnt-out bus in front of Ramkhamhaeng University (RU) on Sunday was not a red-shirt supporter, Pol Gen Jarumporn Suramanee, an adviser to the Royal Thai Police Headquarters confirmed yesterday.

RU students gathered at the university last weekend to protest against the red-shirt rally at the nearby Rajamangala National Stadium. Deadly clashes between the students and the red shirts broke out late on Saturday afternoon and continued until early Sunday morning.

The teenager followed his friends to the university to watch the clashes between RU students and red-shirt supporters. He later joined a group of teenagers to instigate unrest there, Pol Gen Jarumporn said.

Pol Gen Jarumporn said DNA results confirmed that the charred body found on the bus was that of Suradet Khampaengjai, 19.

Suradet's mother earlier this week claimed the charred bones found on the bus could be her son's.

He said police had questioned witnesses and found that Suradet was neither a red shirt nor an RU student who joined the protest.

Suradet was persuaded by his friends to go and see the students' rally. After the clash between the RU students and the red shirts broke out, a group of teenagers, including Suradet, boarded a double-decker bus parked in front of the university.

The teenagers allegedly ransacked the bus, cutting up passenger seats, and then someone set fire to the vehicle.

Suradet was on the upper deck of the bus as the fire spread quickly. The others managed to flee the burning bus but Suradet failed to flee, Pol Gen Jarumporn said, citing accounts from his friends.

Pol Gen Jarumporn said further investigation was needed to find out who set fire to the bus.

Suradet was one of five people killed during the clashes on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The four other victims were RU student Thaweesak Phokaewn, 21, and three red shirts - Viroj Khemnak, 43, Visanu Phaophu, 26, and off-duty soldier Pvt Thanasit viengkham, 22.

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