Thai protesters storm PM's compound

Earlier, state run TV was briefly taken off air due to the demonstration.

    Thousands have surrounded Government House in Bangkok [AFP]

    Speaking against the PAD protests, Samak said: "There is no way that a country of 63 million, like Thailand, will let a group of five people form a street gang to seize control."

    "I won't yield. My cabinet won't yield. The military and the police won't yield." 

    TV shutdown

    Earlier on Tuesday, protesters wearing black and with their faces covered forced the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) off the air.

    The state broadcaster was off for several hours and the attack caused minor damage but no injuries, Thai media reported.
     
    Police arrested about 80 people, some of whom were armed with guns, knives, sling shots and golf clubs, NBT reported.

    Protestes say it is their final push to bring down the elected government of Samak.

    Soifah Osukonthip, an NBT newscaster, said the protesters repeatedly shouted at staff to "get out".
     
    "All 150 of us were rounded up for a short while before police arrived and talked them down to the ground floor," Soifah said.
     
    The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), an anti-government protest group, initially denied any involvement in the raid but after the arrests. PAD leaders at a semi-permanent protest venue in central Bangkok, the capital, called on their followers to march on the state broadcaster.

    Laying siege
     
    Hundreds of protesters were seen bursting through police lines and protesting outside the gates of the media compound.
     
    Thousands more had gathered outside the compound of the main government offices, Government House, preventing employees from entering.
     
    "We are now controlling most of the key government offices to prevent them from coming to work," Sondhi Limthongkul, a PAD leader, said on Tuesday.
     
    The PAD is hoping to draw "hundreds of thousands" of people to Tuesday's rally outside Government House, in its latest attempt to unseat the elected government.
     
    Police say they are expecting only up to 35,000 people but do not plan to confront the demonstrators, a spokesman said.
     
    The prime minister said in a televised speech on Monday that he was not threatened by the rally and that "if they break any law, they will be dealt with accordingly".

    SOURCE: Agencies


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