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Thai riot police clear anti-government protest sites

Published on Feb 14, 2014 12:44 PM

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thousands of riot police were deployed in the Thai capital on Friday to clear areas occupied for weeks by opposition protesters, reclaiming the besieged government headquarters with no resistance.

The operation marked an unexpected shift in tactics by the embattled government, which has allowed the protesters to camp out at locations around Bangkok for several months in their bid to force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office.

Security forces easily re-took areas around Government House, which Yingluck had been unable to use for about two months, according to AFP reporters. Most protesters appeared to have left the area already.

"Officials will return to work at Government House on Monday," Labour Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, who oversaw the operation, told reporters as he inspected the building.

Thai police prepare to take back and evacuate an anti-government protest site sorrounding Government House in Bangkok on Feb 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 
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