Red Shirts cause state of emergency in Bangkok

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in Bangkok, Thailand and its surrounding areas today with the intention of combating anti-government protesters.

Bangkok March 20, 2010

The proclamation was made shortly after a group of Red Shirts, the common name for a political group in Thailand, stormed parliament.

Senior officials were airlifted in a Black Hawk helicopter while other ministers were forced to jump over a wall at the back of the compound. The protesters left without violence after meeting opposition from members of parliament in the building.

The declaration of a state of emergency terminated military regulations and suspended certain civil liberties; one of these being the right to public gatherings of more than five people. This is the fourth state of emergency declared in Thailand because of political turmoil.

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