Just yesterday the leader of Thailand's protest movement Suthep Thaugsuban said protesters would not block access to polling places. But today that was ignored by protesters in a number of polling locations in Thailand's south, with alarming results with the possibility of violent clashes escalating into a national crisis.

 Thailand protesters block early election vote

Protesters in Thailand have surrounded polling stations, blocking early voting ahead of next week's general election, officials say.

One of their leaders has been shot dead during a clash with government supporters just outside the capital, Bangkok.

Advance voting has reportedly been cancelled in a number of locations.

Suthin Taratin was speaking on top of a truck, which was part of a rally at a polling station where advanced voting was supposed to take place, when he was struck by gunfire, reports the BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok.

He died later in hospital.

Crowds of flag-waving demonstrators chained the doors of polling stations shut, despite promises by protest leaders not to obstruct the polls.

The protesters surrounded polling stations in Bangkok and southern Thailand in an attempt to stop people voting.

This could be the beginning of a political crisis here in Thailand as the election day on Feb. 2nd approaches. Lets hope this violence doesn't spread across the south of Thailand where the protest movement has most of its support.    

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