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Free leaders, say red shirts

world Updated: Oct 18, 2010 00:20 IST

Thousands of anti-government "red shirts" demonstrated in the old Thai capital on Sunday to demand the release of their leaders and scores of comrades detained since protests in April and May.

A crowd of 10,000 assembled here, 76 km north of Bangkok, for the group's third big rally since September 19 and the latest sign of its revival since a military crackdown in May.

Police were deployed near a football stadium where the main rally was taking place. "We don't have leaders today. We are here on our own, the CRES can't arrest us," one speaker said, referring to the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation set up to coordinate the authorities' handling of the Bangkok protests.

The capital, unlike Ayutthaya, is still under a state of emergency after 10 weeks of paralysing protests in April and May that ended with 91 people killed.

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