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1 protester killed in new Thai political violence

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 28, 2013 at 11:03 a.m.

BANGKOK — Gunmen killed an anti-government activist and wounded two others in Thailand's capital on Saturday, while protesters elsewhere blocked candidates from registering for upcoming elections, deepening a political crisis that threatens to derail democracy in the Southeast Asian nation.

The registration for the Feb. 2 polls was suspended in four of the country's 76 provinces. All four were southern provinces where the demonstrators, who are seeking to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, enjoy support.

The events followed comments Friday by the powerful army chief in which he declined to rule out the possibility of a coup in the country, which is a major U.S. ally, Southeast Asia's second-largest economy and a popular tourist destination.

The long-running dispute between Thailand's bitterly divided political factions flared anew in November after Yingluck's elected government tried to introduce an amnesty bill for her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, to enable him to return to Thailand from self-imposed exile and escape a jail term for corruption.

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