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Clashes grip Thai capital on eve of vote; 7 hurt

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 1, 2014 at 10:40 a.m.

anti-government-protesters-try-to-antagonize-government-supporters-during-a-gun-fight-bangkok-thailand-saturday-feb-1-2014-gunfire-rang-out-at-a-major-intersection-in-thailands-capital-on-saturday-as-clashes-between-protesters-and-government-supporters-erupted-on-the-eve-of-tense-nationwide-elections-at-least-seven-people-are-reported-wounded-including-an-american-photojournalist-ap-photowally-santana

Anti-government protesters try to antagonize government supporters during a gun fight Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Gunfire rang out at a major intersection in Thailand's capital on Saturday as clashes between protesters and government supporters erupted on the eve of tense nationwide elections. At least seven people are reported wounded, including an American photojournalist. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

BANGKOK — Gunfire rang out across a busy intersection in Thailand's capital for more than an hour Saturday as government supporters clashed with protesters trying to derail tense nationwide elections one day before the vote begins. At least seven people were wounded, including an American photojournalist.

People caught up in the mayhem crouched behind cars and ducked on a pedestrian bridge while others fled inside a nearby shopping mall. Several masked gunmen wearing armored vests bent down under a highway overpass as one of them fired a weapon concealed in a green sack.

The exchange of fire was the latest flare-up in a monthslong struggle by protesters to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's beleaguered government, which they accuse of corruption. The turmoil raises the prospect of more violence Sunday, when polls open for an electoral contest that has devolved into a battle of wills between the government and protesters — and those caught in between who insist on their right to vote.

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