The Thai army looks to have taken the initiative in the battle with thousands of anti-government protesters who have occupied central Bangkok.
The heaviest fighting is in the Bon Kai area of the city, leading to the main business district.
More than 20 have died over the last three days and scores have been injured.
The government has rejected protesters’ calls for UN-supervised talks to end the crisis.
A state of emergency has been extended to a further five rural provinces, curbing activity in the protesters’ stronghold.
The military now say a curfew will not be imposed in flashpoint areas of Bangkok, as it is not yet needed.
And officials have asked the Red Cross to help evacuate the red-shirts fortified camp in Ratchasprong by a Monday deadline.
Some children, women and the elderly have reportedly already begun to shelter in a temple inside the camp.
Those outside the camp’s barricades can only watch and wait.