Anti-government protest shuts Bangkok's international airport

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Bangkok, Nov 25 (UNI) Outbound flights from Bangkok's international airport were shut down tonight as anti-government protestors blocked approach roads and entered the airport terminal building.

The airports of Thailand said inbound flights would be diverted to provincial airports if the situation worsened.

Thousands of supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) who successfully forced the government yesterday to abandon a Parliament session, laid siege today to Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi International airport where Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat is scheduled to return tomorrow from the APEC Summit in Peru.

Late afternoon today, PAD cadres also clashed with government supporters on a main highway in the city, leaving 11 people injured.

Local television channels showed some PAD cadres firing on their opponents and torching motorcyles.

Political observers noted that the PAD, which has campaigned unsuccessfully for the past six months to force the People Power Party (PPP)-led government out of office, has pulled out all stops in a desperate bid to force another military intervention.

However, the influential army chief has repeatedly said in recent days that another coup would not solve the over two-year-old political standoff in the country and has advised both side to use the political process.

The PAD accuses the PPP government of being a proxy of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted by the September 2006 coup d'etat.

UNI XC PD RN2129

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