Thai protesters shut down Bangkok airport

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Bangkok, Nov 26: Thailand's main international airport Suvarnabhumi, on Wednesday, Nov 26 cancelled all flights as thousands of protesters seized control of the complex in an effort to bring down the government, causing inconveninece to thousands of tourists and passengers. Sources said that the staff were asked to leave the control tower at Suvarnabhumi Airport because of the closure.

Protesters tightened their control over Airport which in turn resulted in chaos. Two people are injured in a blast that occured in the premises of the airport. Two grenade attacks elsewhere in the capital deepened the sense of lawlessness after demonstrators stormed the airport on Tuesday, Nov 25 night, dramatically stepping up their campaign against Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat.

Suvarnabhumi Airport was closed down as the guards from the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protest movement sealed off roads to the facility. The airport which was a pet project of outsted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra that was opened in 2006 is now fully under control of the PAD. Airport Director Saereerat Prasutanont said, "I have been informed by Thai Airways that 3,000 passengers are stranded at the terminal now." "Protesters refused to negotiate with anyone except the Prime Minister," he added.

The PAD which mainly consists of loyals of monarchy who launched their campaign in May, alleging the Somchai govt as a corrupt puppet of his brother-in-law Thaksin. The protesters had only allowed one flight to take off, a departure to Saudi Arabia for the Muslim haj pilgrimage.

Thai government had asked the security forces for assistance and refused to rule out the possibilty of declaring emergency. The government has been effectively paralysed since protesters occupied the Prime inister's offices in central Bangkok in August, forcing Somchai to work from makeshift premises at Bangkok's old Don Mueang airport.

But Prime Minister Somchai has rejected the calls of quit. His plane back from the APEC summit in Peru was due to land at an undisclosed location on Wednesday, Nov 26 evening.

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