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Red-shirt pro-democracy protests in Bangkok

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Red-shirt pro-democracy protests in Bangkok

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Thousands of protestors are on the streets of Bangkok. Dressed in red shirts, they are the supporters of former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.

The pro-democracy demonstrators are pressing military-backed government for elections. The red-shirt movement is led by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship – known as the UDD. They say the current prime minister came to power illegitimately.

Despite assurances that the protest will remain peaceful, 40,000 security personnel have been deployed – setting up checkpoints across the capital. In addition, the Internal Security Act has been invoked, giving the military extra powers to impose curfews and restrict numbers at gatherings. Precautions are being taken after the last set of major demonstrations last April turned violent.

Shinawatra was ousted in a military coup in 2006. His supporters are mainly from the rural north of Thailand.