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Bangkok braces as Thai protesters set for shutdown

Antigovernment protesters want to shut down Bangkok and scuttle an election called by the prime minister for Feb. 2.
Antigovernment protesters want to shut down Bangkok and scuttle an election called by the prime minister for Feb. 2.Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

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BANGKOK — Antigovernment demonstrators began to occupy major intersections in Thailand’s capital on Sunday in what they say is an effort to shut down Bangkok, a plan that has raised fears of violence that could trigger a military coup.

The protesters are trying to force caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign and have her government replaced by a nonelected interim administration to implement reforms they say are needed to stop corruption and money politics. They want to scuttle an early general election called by Yingluck for Feb. 2.

Since November, the demonstrators have engaged in street battles with police, cut off water and electricity to national police headquarters, and occupied for a time the compounds of other government agencies. At least eight people have died

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