Thailand puts 17 provinces under emergency decree
Bangkok: The Thai government has extended a state of emergency to cover 17 provinces to prevent rural protesters from joining a massive anti-government rally in the capital.
Thursday`s measure added 15 new provinces to an emergency decree that had already applied to Bangkok and another nearby province.
The decree gives the army broad powers to deal with protesters and places restrictions on civil liberties.
Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn says the expanded emergency decree is intended to prevent "masses of people trying to come to Bangkok."
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