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Thai ministers airlifted after protesters storm Parliament

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 14:30

Bangkok: Military helicopters airlifted
government ministers from Thailand`s Parliament on Wednesday after
angry protesters stormed the building in a dramatic escalation
of their bid to topple the government.

Two Blackhawk helicopters landed under the guard of armed
soldiers to rescue the Deputy Prime Minister and other senior
government figures after other lawmakers fled.

Red-shirted protesters, many of whom support fugitive
former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, had forced their way into
Thailand`s parliamentary compound, smashing through the gates
with a truck.

"Our mission is completed," Korkaew Pikulthong, one of
the Red Shirt leaders, told the crowd after the politicians
fled and the Parliament Session was cancelled.

When he learnt that the Reds were approaching, Prime
Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva left a cabinet meeting there for a
military barracks in the city`s northern outskirts, where he
has been based for most of the weeks-long protest.

The cabinet extended a tough security law Wednesday as
protesters refused to leave Bangkok`s main commercial
district, where they have been since Saturday.

The demonstrators are mostly from Thailand`s rural poor
and working class and see Abhisit`s government as elitist and


First Published: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 14:30

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