World / Asia-Pacific

Thai protesters vacate rally sites

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-23 07:10

Anti-government protesters in Thailand have dispersed for the first time since the country's political crisis began six months ago. Army troops who staged a coup on Thursday asked the demonstrators to go home, and thousands of people peacefully left a rally site near a building housing the seat of government.

A leader of the demonstrators, Thaworn Senneam, said soldiers are preparing vehicles to take the protesters away.

"We will send troops and vehicles to help protesters leave all rally sites," General Teerachai Nakwanit, first regional army commander, said. Deputy army spokesman Winthai Suvaree gave the order in a televised statement after the army said it was taking control of the government following months of political turmoil.

Protesters from pro- and anti-government groups have been rallying at sites in and around Bangkok as part a protracted political crisis. A Reuters photographer said pro-government "red shirts" had mostly vacated their rally site on the western outskirts of Bangkok.


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