Troops deployed in central Bangkok
THAILAND'S military government sent thousands of troops and police into central Bangkok yesterday to stop any protests against its seizure of power, and some shopping malls and train stations closed to avoid trouble.
The authorities were anticipating that protesters would gather at several spots in the capital, including an area in the centre where big malls are located. The military has banned political gatherings of five or more people.
Deputy police chief Somyot Poompanmoung said 5,700 police and soldiers were being sent into central Bangkok and rapid deployment units were ready to stop protests.
Some top-end malls around the Ratchaprasong area have chosen to close or have reduced opening hours, and the operator of the Skytrain overhead rail network has shut several stations in the central area, including Chitlom, Phloenchit and Rajdamri stations.
By midday Ratchaprasong was swarming with police and media but there was barely a protester to be seen. Police detained a woman wearing a white mask with the word "People" written on it.
A group of about 30 people protested inside the Terminal 21 mall in the Asoke area. Police detained one of the protesters.