The Thai government has imposed a 60-day state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding provinces.
The move is to help contain a protest movement that has blocked parts of the capital to try to force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign.
The demonstrators want to overthrow Yingluck’s government and derail February 2 elections she called to try to take the steam out of the crisis. Protesters claim Yingluk’s regime is controlled by her brother, former prime minister Thaksin, who was ousted by the military in 2006.
The emergency decree gives officials the power to impose curfews, detain suspects without charge, censor media, ban political gatherings of more than five people and declare parts of the capital off-limits.
Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban remains defiant, though. He led a march on Tuesday in the Silom business and financial district of the capital, followed by hundreds of protesters.
The protest movement has refused to negotiate and a rising casualty toll has only deepened the deadlock.