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State of Emergency Declared in Bangkok

Posted September. 03, 2008 09:39,   


With Thailand`s anti-government protests turning bloody, the Thai government early yesterday morning issued a state of emergency in the capital.

The English-language daily Nation in Bangkok said that as clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters led to injuries, Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej sent military forces to restore order and declared a state of emergency on national television at 7 a.m. Bangkok time.

“There was no alternative to handle the clash,” he told a news conference. After the announcement, the Thai army`s commander-in-chief Anupong Paochinda was given full authority to restore order.

Some 500 supporters of Samak including the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship of Thailand rushed to the Government House, which has been occupied for eight days by thousands of anti-government protesters led by the People`s Alliance for Democracy, at 2 a.m.

The Associated Press said one person was killed and 43 were injured, three from gunshot wounds.

With the emergency order, hundreds of military and police forces were deployed around the city center of Bangkok to restore order. In addition, 436 city schools were ordered closed for three days.

In Seoul, the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said it has raised its warning against traveling to Thailand given the worsening situation there, from the first stage "caution" to the second "refrain."

redfoot@donga.com jin0619@donga.com