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  Friday, December 6, 2019
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The Thai military has taken back control of five central Bangkok
The Thai military has taken back control of five central Bangkok districts that were earlier overrun by demonstrators, the Nation newspaper said citing Army spokesman Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd on Monday.

Demonstrators were squeezed out of the Din Daeng district, where more than 70 people were injured on Monday during clashes with police. The military also seized a gas truck that demonstrators had threatened to blow up if the police advanced.

Protests in Thailand started in March this year after the government allocated 9 million low-paid Thai workers assistance worth $55 each to stimulate the economy. Protestors called the aid "bribery" and said the cabinet had come to power illegally. Protestors are demanding Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to step down.

A number of clashes are still being observed in different areas of Bangkok, including clashes between demonstrators and pro-government groups. The demonstrators, who are wearing red t-shirts, have also begun setting tires on fire in front of the Bank of Bangkok in the center.

Soldiers in Bangkok fired in the air and used tear gas to disperse the anti-government protestors, many of whom were injured by the gas, with five seriously injured. The opposition claimed that some of its members had suffered from gunshot wounds, the Nation reported earlier.

The recent confrontations, which came as the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations opened in Thailand's resort of Pattaya on Friday, occurred after protesters descended on the venue forcing Vejjajiva to declare a state of emergency and to cancel the 16th-nation meeting.

The 14th meeting of ASEAN leaders, which has already been postponed twice, is due to go ahead in August.


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