Emergency declared to clear protestors from Bangkok airport

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Bangkok, Nov 27 (UNI) Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat tonight announced a state of emergency at Bangkok's international and domestic airports seized by anti-government protestors two days ago as the armed forces denied moves to topple his government.

In an address to the nation from the northern city of Chiang Mai, the Prime Minister said the police aided by Navy and Air Force personnel would implement the emergency decree to remove protestors from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi and Dong Mueang airports.

Tens of thousands of foreign visitors to Thailand have been stranded in Bangkok since the anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) forcibly seized Thailand's main international airport two nights ago and then closed down Bangkok's domestic airport this morning.

The exclusion of the army from the list of state security agencies entrusted with the emergency enforcement was a manifestation of the growing distance between the powerful army and the government, political observers noted.

The Thai capital was in the grip of rumours of a military takeover today, leading to several private companies closing offices early and UN agencies advising staff to go home and stay indoors tonight.

An Army spokesman this evening, however, issued a statement denying the rumours which had panicked the city, emptying Bangkok's evening traffic-crowded streets.

A government spokesman also denied reports that the Prime Minister was going to dismiss top army commanders, including the powerful army chief who yesterday suggested dissolution of parliament to end the six-month-old standoff between the government and PAD.


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