Thailand: Military declares martial law, denies coup underway

Thailand: Military declares martial law, denies coup underway

[Ed. – This is not good.]

Thailand’s army declared martial law in a surprise announcement in Bangkok before dawn on Tuesday, intensifying the turbulent nation’s deepening political crisis. The military, however, denied a coup d’etat was underway.

The move came after six months of anti-government demonstrations aimed at ousting the government and one day after the Southeast Asian country’s caretaker prime minister refused to step down.

The army said in a statement that the military had taken the action to “keep peace and order” and soldiers entered several private television stations in the capital.

An army official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, told The Associated Press “this is definitely not a coup. This is only to provide safety to the people and the people can still carry on their lives as normal.”

A ticker on Chanel 5, an army station, also denied the military was taking over and asked the public not to panic.

Thailand’s army has staged at 11 successful coups since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.

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