Bangkok, Oct 7 (UNI) Police broke up an overnight siege of Thai parliament early today lobbing tear gas shells and smoke bombs to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters determined to prevent Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat from making a policy statement in the house today.
Unarmed police personnel carrying shields and wearing face masks stormed the barricades set up around the Parliament building by cadres of the influential civil society People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) campaign.
The police action followed an urgent Cabinet meeting last night convened by the Prime Minister after the PAD started blockading parliament.
Authorities have so far been reluctant to use force against PAD cadres who have forcibly occupied the Prime Minister's Office since August, refusing court orders to vacate and despite the declaration of a period of emergency in Bangkok.
According to reports, scores of people were injured in the police action around dawn today.
The PAD accuses Mr Somchai's People Power Party (PPP)-led government of being a proxy of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a military coup two years ago following mass anti-government street protests in the Capital organised by the PAD.
UNI XC ARB KP0914