Anti-government protesters in Thailand stopped a military convoy heading into Bangkok last night to prevent more security troops from entering the capital.
The supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who are seeking fresh elections, want to keep the military away from the city centre where they maintain a heavily fortified protest site.
Hopes for an end to the seven-week standoff that has paralysed Bangkok and killed 26 people were dashed after Thailand’s current prime minister recently rejected a proposal for a poll within three months.
Earlier Thailand’s revered King made a rare appearance on Thai television at a ceremony to install judges.
He made no direct comment on the political troubles in his kingdom although the 82-year old monarch, who has been in hospital for seven months, has in the past stepped in to help resolve political crises.
Concern is growing about the impact the prolonged protests are having on the economy and there are deepening fears the situation could develop into a wider civil conflict.