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Thai Protesters Occupy Government Compounds

Thousands of anti-government protesters in Thailand have seized the Finance Ministry in Bangkok and marched on a dozen other government facilities in an escalation of their efforts to topple the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

More than 1,000 protesters swarmed into Finance Ministry buildings Monday. Others have forced their way into the Foreign Ministry compound, but have not entered any of the buildings.

Police, who have not tried to remove the protesters, say about 30,000 are marching on at least 13 government facilities across the capital.

Protesters led by the main opposition party want the prime minister to resign, accusing her of being a puppet for her exiled brother, ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thousands of pro-government protesters are holding their own rally at a Bangkok stadium and have vowed not to leave until the opposition calls off its demonstration. Many Thais fear violent clashes could erupt between the two groups.

Mass protests were triggered several weeks ago by an amnesty bill that would have allowed Thaksin Shinawatra to return home and avoid a two year jail term for corruption.

The amnesty bill was rejected by the Senate, but opposition led protests have continued. Tens of thousands rallied against the government on Sunday.

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