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'Thai forces surround 'terrorists' at hotel'

Thailand's security forces have surrounded a Bangkok hotel where "terrorists" and anti-government protest leaders are believed to be hiding, the deputy prime minister said on Friday.

world Updated: Apr 16, 2010 09:55 IST

Thailand's security forces have surrounded a Bangkok hotel where "terrorists" and anti-government protest leaders are believed to be hiding, the deputy prime minister said on Friday.

"The government's special team is surrounding the SC Park Hotel where we have learned that there are terrorists and some of the (Red Shirt) leaders hiding," said Suthep Thaugsuban, who is in charge of security.

The hotel is believed to be owned by fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, political icon of the red-clad protest movement that has been rallying for more than a month in Bangkok to demand immediate elections.

In a nationally televised address, Suthep also urged "innocent" protesters to leave an anti-government rally site in Bangkok's commercial district, suggesting authorities would go there to make further arrests.

"Innocent people should leave the protests because the authorities have to take decisive measures against terrorists," he said.

Suthep said that security forces had also been deployed to safeguard two pro-government television stations in the capital.

Army chief Anupong Paojinda said no arrests had yet been made.

"Special forces are surrounding the hotel. They have not arrested anyone yet," he told AFP.