Asia-Pacific

Thai police arrest 100 anti-government protesters

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Thai police have arrested about 100 anti-government demonstrators in a raid on a protest camp near a government building in the capital, Bangkok.

The protesters were detained on Tuesday at the Thai Energy Ministry complex during a police operation aimed at clearing the camp. Police used tear gas against the crowd of protesters.

The operation was launched a day after the Thai government announced it would mobilize 25,000 policemen to retake five government buildings that have been occupied by anti-government demonstrators for several weeks.

The developments come a few days after security forces cleared areas around the Government House, which Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra could not use for about two months due to the anti-government protests.

Thai demonstrators want Yingluck to quit, so that an unelected “people’s council” could enact reforms.

Thailand held a general election on February 2 in an attempt to curb the protests, which were triggered in October 2013. However, the protesters disrupted the polls by preventing thousands of polling stations from opening mainly in opposition strongholds in Bangkok and the south.

Yingluck opponents say her administration is actually controlled by her brother and former premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, who fled Thailand in 2008 to avoid a two-year prison sentence over corruption.

Protesters say they are determined to end the influence of Thaksin dynasty in Thai politics.

Thaksin was toppled in a military coup in 2006, following demonstrations accusing him of corruption. Since then, the former Thai premier has lived in a self-imposed exile.

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