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Thailand's Capital Calm After Coup


Thailand's capital appeared calm Thursday, two days after a military coup overthrew the government of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

No violence has been reported in Bangkok since tanks and other military vehicles cordoned off the central government buildings late Tuesday. Thai stocks dropped almost four percent when the market re-opened Thursday, but recovered more than half that within minutes.

Little has been heard from Mr. Thaksin, who was attending the opening of the U.N. General Assembly in New York at the time of coup. He has since flown to London.

The coup has been endorsed by Thailand's royal palace. The international community, however, has voiced condemnation and concern while calling for a swift return to democracy.

U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said there was "no justification for a military coup," and that the U.S. would review aspects of its relationship with Thailand.

The military leaders in charge are promising to find an interim prime minister within two weeks, and hold new elections by October 2007. They say it was necessary to overthrow Mr. Thaksin to resolve Thailand's internal political conflicts.

In April, Mr. Thaksin dissolved parliament and called elections after weeks of demonstrations calling for his resignation. The opposition boycotted the election, however, and the courts later deemed the poll illegal.

Britain's Foreign Office confirms the former prime minister is in the country on a private visit, and has not requested any meetings with British government officials.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters

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