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Bangkok Shutdown: Thai govt urges police to arrest rally leaders

Published on Jan 16, 2014 2:31 PM
 
Anti-government protesters march during a rally in central Bangkok on Jan 16, 2014. Thailand's government pleaded with police on Thursday to arrest opposition protest leaders who have threatened to take the prime minister captive and paralysed parts of central Bangkok. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thailand's government pleaded with police on Thursday to arrest opposition protest leaders who have threatened to take the prime minister captive and paralysed parts of central Bangkok.

Officials said the demonstrators' self-styled "shutdown" of Bangkok, aimed at forcing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office, appeared to be losing momentum with a dwindling number of protesters on the streets.

Leaders of the anti-government movement still travel freely around the city delivering fiery speeches and collecting money from supporters, despite warrants for their arrest for their roles in civil unrest that has left eight dead and hundreds injured.

Rally leader Suthep Thaugsuban faces an insurrection charge - in theory punishable by death - in connection with the protests, as well as a murder charge linked to a military crackdown on opposition protests that left dozens dead when he was deputy premier in 2010.

 
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