News / Asia

    Thai Army Seals Off Key Intersections in Bangkok

    Thai soldiers secure the bus stop area to prevent the anti-coup demonstration at Victory Monument in Bangkok, May 29, 2014.
    Thai soldiers secure the bus stop area to prevent the anti-coup demonstration at Victory Monument in Bangkok, May 29, 2014.
    VOA News
    Hundreds of government troops sealed off busy intersections in Thailand's capital, Bangkok, Thursday, to prevent a protest planned by those who object to last week's military coup.

    Truckloads of soldiers blocked all incoming roads to the city's Victory Monument in a massive show of force during the busy evening rush hour. But few protesters were seen in the area, and many street vendors closed up shop early.

    The large army deployment came one day after hundreds of protesters gathered at Victory Monument. When troops showed up, scuffles broke out. Water bottles and other objects were hurled at soldiers, and a green army vehicle was vandalized with graffiti reading: "No coup. Get out."

    Thailand's military rulers have outlawed protests and detained hundreds of government officials, politicians and anti-coup activists since taking power last week. Most have since been freed after promising not to hold protests, but others face prosecution.

    Anti-coup protesters say they plan a huge rally this Sunday at a key Bangkok intersection.

    Earlier Thursday, the military said it does not know when Thailand will return to civilian rule.

    In Washington Thursday, a State Department spokeswoman said the United States sees no legitimate reason to delay elections in Thailand.

    Thailand is largely divided between supporters and opponents of ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is living in self-imposed exile after being ousted in a 2006 coup.
     
    • An anti-coup activist called for a weekend rally to defy the military government's ban on demonstrations. Here female riot police arrive at Victory Monument in Bangkok, May 30, 2014.
    • People make their way past a line of Thai soldiers guarding the street near Victory Monument to prevent anti-coup demonstrations in Bangkok, May 30, 2014.
    • Soldiers watch as police officers are reinforced to prevent an anti-coup demonstration at the Victory Monument in Bangkok, May 29, 2014.
    • Soldiers stand guard at the Victory Monument in Bangkok, May 29, 2014.
    • Soldiers and police guard the Victory Monument, after anti-coup protesters were forbidden to gather there, Bangkok, May 29, 2014.
    • A man walks near police vehicles at an empty Victory Monument, where anti-coup protesters were gathering on previous days, in Bangkok, May 29, 2014.
    • Thai Student Center for Democracy members raise their clenched fists during a protest against the military coup, Thammasat University in Bangkok, May 29, 2014.
    • Protesters scuffle with soldiers during a rally at the Victory Monument in Bangkok, May 28, 2014.
    • Protesters scuffle with soldiers during an anti-coup demonstration at the Victory Monument in Bangkok, May 28, 2014.
    • A riot police officer is carried by colleagues after he was knocked down by an object thrown by protesters during an anti-coup demonstration at the Victory Monument in Bangkok, May 28, 2014.

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