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Thai protesters break into army headquarters

world Updated: Nov 29, 2013 11:48 IST

AFP
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Thousands of Thai opposition protesters stormed into the army headquarters in Bangkok on Friday, calling on the military to support their fight to bring down the government.

"Protesters slammed opened the gate and are now in the army headquarters," a military spokeswoman said, adding that the army chief was not in his office.

Flag-waving demonstrators massed on the lawn inside the army compound in Bangkok's historic district, sheltering under sun umbrellas.

"We want to know whether the army will stand by the people not a dictator," said a protest leader, Amorn Amornrattananont.

The protesters -- a mix of royalists, southerners and the urban middle class sometimes numbering in their tens of thousands -- are united by their loathing of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, whose younger sister Yingluck is prime minister.

Protesters are demanding the end of the "Thaksin regime" and want to replace the government with an unelected "people's council".

Boisterous demonstrators have besieged key ministries in Bangkok in the biggest street protests since mass rallies against the previous government three years ago degenerated into the kingdom's worst civil strife in decades.