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Thai police step up defense in Bangkok as protests continue

Protesters clashed with police near a Thai government building in Bangkok Monday. The demonstrators aim to rid the country of a prominent political family.
Protesters clashed with police near a Thai government building in Bangkok Monday. The demonstrators aim to rid the country of a prominent political family.Credit: BARBARA WALTON /European Pressphoto Agency

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BANGKOK — After a week of using soft-gloved tactics against anti-government demonstrators, the Thai police aggressively stepped up their defense of government buildings in Bangkok on Monday, firing a hail of rubber bullets and tear gas and using water cannons.

Despite the police pressuring the thousands of protesters to go home as Thailand enters its peak tourism season, the main demonstration leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, dug in his heels, prolonging the grinding standoff, the nation’s deepest civil unrest in three years.

“We have to fight from every angle, fight until we win,” a weary-looking Suthep told thousands of supporters late Monday. A criminal court issued an arrest warrant for Suthep on charges of rebellion, which is punishable by death or life in prison.

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