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Police tackle Thai protests as Phuket hit by strikes

Police tackle Thai protests as Phuket hit by strikes
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Riot police in Thailand have moved against activists occupying the prime minister’s headquarters in Bangkok, while protests elsewhere have forced the closure of Phuket airport.

There were scuffles as officers forced their way through barricades erected by the opposition People’s Alliance for Democracy, which began its sit-in at the prime minister’s compound on Tuesday. The police served them with an eviction order, but did not force all the protesters to leave.

Similar action by the group in 2005 contributed to the removal of the then prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.

They say Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, who was elected seven months ago, is an illegitimate proxy for Thaksin. Pressure is growing on the government as a strike by rail workers spread to the airport at Phuket, which is a major tourist destination.