London, Aug 26 : Nationalist protesters in Thailand have stormed its state television station and besieged ministries in an attempt to bring down the Government.
The protestors, armed with pistols, knives and golf clubs, are being led by the People's Alliance for Democracy, which is a Rightwing front led by a group of retired generals and businessmen.
In 2006, protests by the same group were used as a pretext by the military to step in and oust the former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. However, this time the army chief General Anunpong Paojinda has said that his forces will not intervene in civil administration.
According to the Telegraph, an official at the government house said that the government has stopped functioning and that only 10 per cent of staff had made it to work.
Sondhi Limthongkul, a media mogul and former business partner of Thaksin, is one of the group's leaders.
"We are now controlling most of the key government offices to prevent them from coming to work," the paper quoted Sondhi.
The first attempt by the protestors to seize the state television station was unsuccessful, but the attackers stormed the building at the second attempt and took the station's programming off air.
They want to overthrow the government and then replace the elected parliament, which mostly comprises of appointed legislators.
According to police estimates around 10 000 people were involved.
The protestors accuse the Government of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej of being a front for Thaksin Shinawatra who was forced into exile in Britain this month.