May 24, 2010 – 11:23 AM
SPIEGEL correspondent Thilo Thielke was in Bangkok the day the Thai Army cleared the Red Shirt camps. It was the last day he would work with his friend and colleague, Italian photojournalist Fabio Polenghi, who died from a gunshot wound.
When the helicopters started circling over the center of Bangkok last Wednesday at 6 a.m., I knew that the army would soon launch its attack. This was the moment that everyone had been fearfully expecting for weeks. I had always doubted that the government would actually allow things to go this far. There were many women and children in the district occupied by the protesters. Did the soldiers really want to risk a bloodbath?