Clashes have erupted between soldiers and anti-government demonstrators
in Thailand's capital, Bangkok, one day after ousted Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra urged his followers to carry out a revolution.
Officials say at least 68 people have been injured in the clashes.
Soldiers in full combat gear began moving in before dawn Monday.
Television news reports showed video of troops firing shots into the
air. Witnesses say pro-Thaksin demonstrators, who usually wear red
shirts, hurled homemade bombs at the soldiers. Also, fires burned along
the main thoroughfare where the clashes erupted.
Government officials appeared on Thai television early Monday and appealed for calm.
On Sunday, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra urged thousands of
his supporters in Bangkok to carry out a "people's revolution."
Speaking by phone, the exiled government opponent vowed to return to
Thailand if authorities attack his supporters.
Thailand's current Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva made a late-night
televised appeal for calm Sunday and told citizens that his government
remained in control.
Earlier, the prime minister had imposed emergency measures after
demonstrators forced the government to cancel an ASEAN summit and
evacuate leaders by helicopter from Pattaya Saturday. Those measures
failed to stop a mob from attacking Mr. Abhisit's car with stones,
sticks, poles and potted plants as it tried to leave the Interior
Ministry compound Sunday. The prime minister escaped unhurt.
The unrest is the latest element of a political crisis that began when
the military deposed Mr. Thaksin in 2006, accusing him of corruption
and abuse of power.
Mr. Abhisit is the third person in the past year to hold the post of Thai prime minister.