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Thailand declares state of emergency for protests

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 21, 2014 at 10:12 a.m.

BANGKOK — Thailand's government on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas to cope with protests that have stirred up violent attacks, adding to the country's months-long sense of crisis.

Labor Minister Chalerm Yubumrung said that the measure will continue for 60 days beginning Wednesday, but did not announce any specific actions.

The decree greatly expands the power of security forces to issue orders and search, arrest and detain people, with limited judicial and parliamentary oversight. The areas covered had already been placed under tougher-than-normal security under the country's Internal Security Act.

The state of emergency follows increasing attacks at protest sites for which the government and the protesters blame each other. These include grenades thrown in daylight and drive-by shootings. On Sunday, 28 people were wounded when two grenades were tossed near one of several stages set up by protesters at key Bangkok intersections.


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