BANGKOK (Agencies) - Raging violence in the heart of the Thai capital claimed 14 more lives Saturday as the embattled premier vowed no turning back and the army threatened a crackdown on thousands of protesters. Two days of street battles between soldiers and anti-government Red Shirts have left 24 people dead, all civilians, and 187 wounded, according to Erawan emergency centre. The military declared one area of Bangkok a live fire zone as troops struggled to regain control. Scenes of urban warfare erupted on the southern and northern fringes of the Red Shirts sprawling encampment in the heart of Bangkok, after the army moved in Thursday to seal off the area. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who last week shelved a plan to hold early elections because the protesters refused to disperse, warned the government cannot turn back in the two-month standoff. Soldiers opened fire on demonstrators, some of them armed or hurling Molotov cocktails, as plumes of black smoke billowed from burning tyres. Three bodies were seen lying on the ground in the area where the military posted a sign declaring live ammunition was being used, according to an AFP photographer. More than 50 people have been killed and 1,600 have been wounded since the protests began on March 12, according to figures from the emergency services and the Public Health Ministry. The current situation is almost full civil war, said a protest leader, Jatuporn Prompan. I am not sure how this conflict will end. Protesters rolled burning tyres at soldiers and launched fireworks at helicopters hovering over the capital, which is under a state of emergency. The army warned it would move against the demonstrators main rally site unless they disperse, but it gave no timetable for the action. There is a plan to crack down on Ratchaprasong if the protest does not end, said the army spokesman, Sunsern Kaewkumnerd. But authorities will not set a deadline because without effective planning there will more loss of life. In the Silom business and tourism hub, close to the main rally base, two men were shot and left badly wounded Saturday after about 30 protesters, one armed with a small handgun, clashed with troops, an AFP photographer said. The Red Shirts were throwing stones and Molotov cocktails when the shooting occurred. One victim, who was wearing a helmet, appeared to be hit in the head, the witness said. A Thai court handed six-month jail sentences to 27 protesters arrested during Fridays clashes. A journalist, a photographer for The Nation newspaper, was injured and in a serious condition after a bullet shattered a bone in his leg while covering Saturdays clashes, further underlining the risks facing media in Bangkok.