Thai coup chiefs sack Thaksins top security aides

BANGKOK, Sep 21 (Reuters) Thai coup leaders sacked four senior police generals today who were either close friends or related to ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin re-assigned the four to inactive posts in the Prime Minister's Office, according to a statement read out on national television. Among the officers were Jumpol Manmai, head of the National Intelligence Agency, and Priewphand Damapong, the number two at the National Police Bureau and a brother-in-law of Thaksin, himself a former police lieutenant-colonel.

The Council for Democratic Reform Under Constitutional Monarchy (CDRM), as the coup leaders called themselves, have so far detained four former cabinet mimisters since they toppled the Thaksin government on Tuesday.

Environment Minister Yongyut Tiyapairat and Newin Chidchob, a minister in the Prime Minister's Office, were detained today after they were ordered to report to army headquarters.

Police General Chidchai Vanasatidya, former deputy prime minister, and Prommin Lertsuridej, Thaksin's chief of staff, were apprehended by soldiers on Tuesday when tanks and soldiers seized Government House.

REUTERS PB PM2114

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